In line with the government's "Make in India" initiative, Munoth Industries, promoted by Chennai-based Munoth group, announced here on Wednesday the setting up of India's first lithium-ion cell manufacturing plant in Tirupati, Andhra Pradesh, for the mobile industry.
The plant will be set up with an outlay of Rs 799 crore in three phases, Munoth Industries said, adding that the plant will provide employment opportunities to 1,700 people.
The first phase of the project will be operational by March 2019 and the second and third phases by 2022, the company added.
"The setting up of India's first lithium-ion cell manufacturing plant for mobile industry will improve competitiveness. It will create more value addition to the country and eventually it will drive down the pricing," Pankaj Mohindroo, National President, Indian Cellular Association (ICA) told IANS.
"We have a large battery pack industry in India -- assembling and packing of batteries -- but we don't have core industry," Mohindroo said.
"This core component plant will catalyse establishment of an entire eco-system of forward and backward integration -- forward integration to bring in through design houses, tooling facilities and many SME startups besides catering to the mobile battery pack industry as an OEM (original equipment manufacturer) supplier," Mohindroo added.
The current consumption of batteries is estimated to be around 400-450 million per annum for mobile phones, including replacement, and about 100 million per annum for power banks, he said.
Jaswant Munoth, Chairman, Munoth Industries, said that the company was allotted 30 acres of land by the Andhra Pradesh Industrial Infrastructure Corporation.
"It has received all the required approvals from Tirupati Urban Development Authority (TUDA) and Ministry of Electronics and IT (MeitY) on M-SIPS (modified special incentive package scheme) benefits," Munoth said.
The company is targeting a market share of approximately six per cent of the total number of batteries consumed in the mobile phone industry in India during the first phase of production.
"As of now, lithium-ion cells are imported and battery packs are assembled in India using the imported cells and with this project of Munoth Industries, we will begin our journey to become a pioneer in this space," Ajay Prakash Sawhney, Secretary, Ministry of Electronics and IT, said.