The India Energy Storage Alliance (IESA) said the Indian government’s recent auctions for 20 blocks of critical and strategic minerals will be a boost to the Indian battery materials manufacturing sector.
The auctions include lithium, nickel, manganese, graphite and copper. Last date for submission of bids is 22 January, 2024 (tender document to be bought by 16 January). The 20 blocks are part of 100 planned to auction over time, said IESA.
The association said it has worked with the government and its agencies for over two years to help develop the country’s battery manufacturing ecosystem.
It said in a letter to members the government’s Make in India mission “will be only possible” if 80–100% value addition to manufacturing happens in India.
In the last few years, it said India has discovered new lithium mines in the states of Karnataka, Rajasthan, Jammu & Kashmir, West Bengal, Bihar and Chhattisgarh.
“The government of India has taken the very appropriate steps and time to boost the mining, refining and chemical processing sectors for battery materials to support cathode, anode and electrolyte manufacturing industries for upcoming battery gigafactories in India,” it said.
IESA said India is expected to reach 500GWh battery manufacturing capacity by 2035. That will support India’s ambitious target for renewables and electric vehicle (EV) adoption. More power and consumer electronics will support digital India, it noted.
The IESA’s analysis is that India requires 400 kilotons of lithium and 600 kilotons of graphite by 2035 to support these gigafactories.
Debi Prasad Dash, executive director of IESA, said Indian government policy “has helped the country leapfrog from an end consumer of advanced batteries to manufacturing through the PLI (Production Linked Incentive) scheme and now mining of critical minerals within a decade.”
This is a “remarkable growth milestone” for the battery storage industry in India, he added.
Dash added that five graphite block auctions will help Indian gigafactories but will also support the global battery manufacturing industry after the ban in October on graphite exports by the Chinese government.
Photo: IESA’s Debi Prasad Dash: Indian government policy has helped the country leapfrog from end consumer to manufacturer and now mining of critical minerals within a decade.