Overview of Aluminium Plant in India
Aluminium is a wonderful metal. It is light, strong, conductive, durable, flexible and easy to recycle. The uses of aluminium are manifold for a wide variety of applications, from art and crafts to making satellites. That is why more aluminium is produced in the country than all other non-ferrous metals combined. The three main fields in which aluminium is used are transportation, packaging and building and electrical and machine tools. Aluminium Plants play a crucial part in manufacturing electrical and electronics, automobile and aeronautical parts, medical and orthodontic equipment, renewable energy devices, defence equipment and architectural products. In India, aluminium manufacturing is a highly concentrated industry, with the top 5 companies comprising the majority of the production, four of which are in the private sector.
The upstream segment in the industry produces primary or “unwrought” aluminium from the smelting calcined alumina, which is obtained from bauxite, the primary ore of the metal.The downstream segment comprises the processing of aluminium into semi-finished goods such as rolled products, bars, rods, castings, forgings and extrusions. The downstream industry can also consist of processing like aluminium extrusions, alumina chemicals, and aluminium rolled products. These aluminium products can be produced using primary or secondary (recycled) aluminium or with a combination of both, depending on the specification of the desired product. This write-up will take you through an overview of the industry and, most importantly, the opportunities in setting up an aluminium manufacturing plant.
Processing Aluminium - from Ores to finished product
Mining of Ore
Bauxite is the ore where the mining of aluminium takes place. Bauxite ore is crushed, and alumina is dissolved. The bulk ore is shipped to the site of the smelter or aluminium plants.
Aluminium ore processing involves the Bayer refining process to recover alumina from bauxite. Electricity, coal and furnace oil are primary energy sources in aluminium plants.All plants in India mainly use Bayer-Hall-Heroult technology. Aluminium plants usually have their power units for uninterrupted and cheaper power supply, as energy cost makes up around 40% of the manufacturing cost for aluminium processing and 30% for rolled products. The processing has four stages.
Stage 1 -Digestion: finely powdered ore is fed into a steam-heated processor. It is then combined with a caustic soda solution under high pressure and temperature condition.
Stage 2- Clarification: Waste is separated from alumina-bearing solution, consisting of undissolved iron oxides and silica that make up the sand and red mud waste. This coarse-sized material is washed to recover caustic soda. The green liquor is sent to heat radiators and cooled down from 1000°C to 650-790°C.
Stage 3- Precipitation: Alumina crystals are sediments in the green liquor solution blended with crystalline alumina in tall precipitators. This encourages the precipitation of solid alumina as the solution cools. It is then transferred to the next stage.
Stage 4: Calcination: the alumina hydrate is dried and then heated to around 1000°C, leaving a dry, pure white, sandy substance called alumina. A part of the alumina is left in its hydrate state. It is processed further for use in the chemical industry.
Once the aluminium has been processed, the next step is casting the metal into the desired product in an aluminium foundry. Aluminium castings are done by pouring molten metal into moulds shaped by a pattern of the desired final product. Three standard moulding methods are used to produce castings: die casting, permanent mould casting, and sand casting.
Advantage of choosing Aluminium over other metals as a smelting business
Variety of Applications: The Indian aluminium industry meets the requirements of various sectors, including engineering, electrical and electronics, automobile and automobile components, etc. Aluminium has widespread applications in crucial industries and is equally essential to the consumer market.
Massive demand from Industries: Aluminium usage in the automobile industry is also growing exponentially. Over the past decade, the aluminium industry has made significant progress in lightweight aluminium-intensive vehicle manufacturing.
Alternative of costlier metals: Today's consumer sees aluminium as the cheaper replacement for copper. The demand for more affordable but equally conducting metal in the power transmission and distribution industry has enhanced the need for this metal. There are more than 600 cable and conductor manufacturing units in India that have a total capacity of more than 400,000 TPA of aluminium wires.
Favourable Government Policies: With the Government's increased thrust on the development of infrastructure in the country, the demand for aluminium is expected to increase from the electrical, building and construction sectors would pick up considerably. Initiatives such as the "Smart Cities" program, "Make in India" scheme, 100% rural electrification and important projects such as indigenous space programmes, indigenisation of defence items etc., are expected to boost the demand for aluminium sharply in the coming years.
Licences and Permissions required to mine and process Aluminium
The Standing committee on Coal, Mines and Steel in 2021 has said that India’s unexplored 3,240 million metric tons of bauxite require intense exploration activities and urgent measures for early clearances on administrative, procedural, legal and environmental fronts for the uninterrupted development of the bauxite mines and Aluminium Plants in the country. State Government is empowered to grant mining leases for aluminium. Earlier, the Central Government consent was required for mineral concessions for minerals specified in Parts ‘C’ of Schedule I of the MMDR Act. The mining lease is issued through an auction on the MSTC's website. The documents required for the mining lease are
- Evidence to confirm eligibility under the provisions of the applicable Rules and Acts.
- Bid security and supporting documents.
- Payments are specified in the tender document.
- Performance Security
Environmental Clearance for Bauxite ore mining
An Environmental Impact Assessment for the exploration and mining of aluminium ore in a region must be submitted to the MoEF&CC. The proponent must submit the mining details in the prescribed format (Form-1) and a pre-feasibility report. The documents required for environmental clearance include
- Project details like the name, location, proposed breakup of area, etc.)
- Site/ Layout plan
- Proof of installed machinery
- Proof of Land Ownership
- ID proof of Signatory
- Quality test Report (if applicable)
- Proof of mitigation options adopted
- Proof of Electricity and water connection
Aluminium plants(involving processing from ore/ integrated aluminium plants) are on the CPCB's list of 17 Highly Polluting Industries. Therefore, they have been placed under the Red category as they generate effluents, air discharge, and some hazardous industrial waste. A consent certificate or Pollution NOC is required by an aluminium plant that is issued in 2 stages- once before the industry gets established, for which a Consent to Establish (CTE) is given. A Consent to operate (CTO) is given after the plant is installed and ready to operate. Pollution NOC is mandated under Air Act and Water Act and has to be obtained from the concerned SPCB/PCC. The documents required for the No Objection Certificate are
- Duly-filled online Application Form
- Signed Undertaking
- Site Plan or layout plan
- Detailed Project Report
- Layout plan
- Details of finished products
- list of machinery and manufacturing process details
- Land Ownership Proof, such as rent /lease agreement
- Industry Registration Proof
- Balanced Sheet that has been certified by a CA
- Details of air and water pollution control devices
- Consent fee (as applicable)
- Laboratory analysis report of effluent and air emissions.
- Environmental Clearance
Other Licences Required by an Aluminium Plant
- Authorisation for disposal of hazardous waste or tie-up with a TSDF operator.
- Water supply sanction and connection from ULBs
- CGWA NOC (Water Abstraction NOC)
- Factory Licence
- Fire NOC
- GST Registration
Market Analysis of Aluminium led industries
The electrical sector (48%) is the largest consumer of aluminium, followed by the automobile and transport sector (15%), the constructionsector (13%), consumer durables items (7%), the machinery & equipment manufacturing industry (7%), packaging industry (4%) and others (6%).
Aluminium usage in the electrical sector is mainly in the form of overhead conductors and power cable manufacturing. Devices and peripherals used in the generation and transmission of electricity make use of aluminium. It is also used in switchboards, coil windings, capacitors, etc.
Looking at the per capita consumption of aluminium in India which is 2.2 kg, there is significant scope for aluminium plants in the future. As the world average aluminium consumption is 8 kg, with 22- 25 kg in developed nations, there is a huge demand for this metal internationally.
How will Enterclimate Assist You?
One-Stop Solution licence-related formalities
Our seasoned team of Experts in licencing and environment-related issues provide comprehensive assistance for all required legalities needed to set up an Aluminium plant, including legal assistance in setting up the business.
Expert Solutions by Industry Experts
Our team comprises experts with more than ten years of experience in domains like environmental law, industry compliance and auctioning. We ensure the licencing and authorisation certificates are obtained in a swift and hassle-free manner and at affordable prices.
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Enterclimate has a network of customer relations executives who can quickly assist with any roadblocks with your business setup. We ensure that our client's experience throughout the licencing and authorisation stage is positive and seamless by addressing their concerns to the customer's satisfaction.