In 1997, TDT Copper Ltd., a Korean-Japanese venture with American technology, a truly international effort on Indian soil to provide international quality copper rods was established. Taihan Electric Wire Co. Ltd, South Korea & Tomen Corporation, Japan planned to offer custom made copper rods to suit the Indian customers, made from raw material selected and blended from across the world for varying end use. There techno economic advantage was nipped in the bud ten years ago due to 25% duty advantage provided to smelters by Indian government. After their exit in year 2000, Mr. Lakshman Das Ladha, a Kolkata based entrepreneur having 4 decades of experience in trading and manufacturing of copper and other allied products, took over TDT Copper Ltd. (formerly Alchemist Metals Ltd.) in the year 2009 and recently government of Haryana transferred ownership of property to new shareholders. With a capacity of 79,200 MTPA the company manufacturers ETP Copper Rods and is the third largest CCR plant in India located at Bawal in the vicinity of the hub of wire and cable industry located near NCR region.
Facility & Operations
TDT was setup earlier with a technical tie-up with Southwire of USA. The promoters of the unit – Taihan and Toyota Psusho chose the best plant available with automation compatible of producing international quality rods in India. After Ladha’s took over the plant in 2009, they contacted Southwire, USA to get it commissioned and do the trials. The rolling mill was taken from Morgan Construction Company, USA and the effective production started in the last quarter of 2010-11. It’s the sheer effort of the team who made it up and running in spite of having 10 years of no production and the most impressive thing was that the first rod which was produced got accepted in the market. Mr. Laxman Das Ladha selected the experienced people from the industry to form a strong management team.
They have also upgraded the quality control laboratory with the latest know how. Stringent norms were formed for the quality check before the product gets out of the premises. Secondly some instruments have been put in the flow of work right from the furnaces, measuring of the oxygen pick up, surface quality etc. till the end of the production process in order to track and stop the production if anything goes haywire so that can be put back on line. TDT has continuous technical support of Southwire and with its assistance started its production of CC Copper Rods too.
Green Copper at TDT
TDT is the only copper rod producer exempt from pollution control clearance due to its investment in state of art environment friendly technology. Generally the rod plants are situated near the Smelter unit where metal is extracted from the ore but as they import their raw material in the form of cathode and not as ore hence they cut on the smelting process which ensures environment friendly operation. The cathode has 99.99% of the copper whereas ore contains 25% of the copper and has to be converted. In fact they have initiated some dialogues to collect the carbon credits also.
Quality & Service
Being a customer centric company their quality policy says “to make available grades of copper rods specially designed to meet end users needs depending on his technology and product end use”. In their quest to serve the customer better they work on various customizations and especially for small scale industry they offer material in smaller lots as compared to industry standards. Secondly, they have adopted just in time approach. Their sales team is constantly on the move with the customer, to feed their requirements. To ensure just in time response they have also introduced 24/7 working hours for dispatch team. TDT has ready stock at Bangalore, Kolkata, Baroda, Gwalior, Bhiwadi and the plant is located within 4 hours distance of customers like Havells, KEI, Paramount who consume 40 % of India’s rod consumption.
Above all they import their cathodes from the world’s largest producer of copper i.e. Codelco, Chile. They buy their LME registered A grade cathodes which will help to produce best quality end product.
Currently they are producing the rods with diameter range of 8mm to 19.5mm but in future they intend to produce the whole gamut of the range which TDT used to produce earlier. Secondly they are trying to break into the railways to meet their requirement of rods as railway is dependent on the imported rods. TDT would also be making investment in equipments this year to make available rods suitable for RDSO specs for contract wire so as to substitute imports.
Besides they are looking to have the backward integration in the form of getting the control over the raw material. For this a new location for the new facility will be identified later which must be near to the port to make it logistically viable. This decision will be made in another 6 to 8 months as it involves a huge investment.
Key Growth Parameters
Being the high priority segment – power will present the opportunity for the growth. Government is spending on the development of the infrastructure like power generation capacity, transmission, distribution etc. This will have the effect on the downstream products that are required for this and ultimately offer growth for the companies in this sector. TDT’s application industry includes wires & cables, motors, switchgears, transformers, construction industry etc, which are expected to offer double digit growth.