AV Birla group flagship Hindalco Industries is betting big on the packaging and transport containers segment, a top company official said on November 19.
The move is due to the low per capita use of aluminium in the country which is at 2.6 kg now and being the largest producer of the metal, it gives an added advantage to the AV Birla flagship.
The domestic packaging industry is a $5 billion and is growing at around 25 percent annually.
"Per capita intake of aluminium is just 2.6 kg now, while in China it is 30 kg. So we see huge opportunity in both packaging, cans and transport industry and we are looking to expand in these areas going forward. We expect to hold 40-45 percent of the downstream market," managing director Satish Pai said.
In the transportation business, the company will be contract manufacturing aluminium containers for bulker carriers and trailers which will help the goods transport industry bring down cost as the light weight aluminum containers can carry more payload.
It can be noted that almost all goods containers are built of steel now which increases the tonnage of the truck.
As part of entering the packaging business, Hindalco recently partnered with the Jute Corporation to make recyclable packaging material to reduce single-use plastic.
And as a first step, the company has launched the country's first aluminium foil-laminated jute bags for the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams, the trust that manages the Tirumala Temple in Andhra.
"Going forward, we aspire to make aluminium the 'smart metal of choice' by showcasing it as a supermaterial, with innate properties of strength, light weight, anti-corrosion and 100 percent recyclability," Pai said, adding they will soon roll this out to other temples and to other industries as well as a smart and sustainable packaging option.
At its aluminium foil manufacturing plant in Nagpur, the jute cloth is laminated with food-grade aluminium foils, and sent to artisans in Telangana for fabricating the bags in different sizes, which are available at an affordable price.
There is a strong response to the aluminium-foil jute bags and already 60,000 bags have been sold in the past six months alone.