JSW Group Unveils Production Timeline For $5-Billion EV Enterprise In Odisha

JSW Group, as part of its EV project in Odisha, plans to set up an EV and EV battery plant in Cuttack and a lithium-ion refinery and copper smelter in Paradip.

<div class="paragraphs"><p>Representatives of JSW Group, including Chairman Sajjan Jindal (in blue shirt) and Odisha government look at a scale model for the planned EV facility. (Photo: Company)</p></div>
Representatives of JSW Group, including Chairman Sajjan Jindal (in blue shirt) and Odisha government look at a scale model for the planned EV facility. (Photo: Company)

Construction for JSW Group’s planned $5-billion EV enterprise in Odisha is set to begin this year, with actual production expected to commence in the next couple of years, according to people aware of the matter.

Once regulatory approvals are in place, construction of the EV facility in Cuttack will likely start by the end of 2024, people within JSW Group told NDTV Profit. They spoke on the condition of anonymity due to the confidential nature of the information. The facility is expected to be commissioned over the next 2-3 years.

The Sajjan Jindal-led conglomerate has signed a memorandum of understanding with the Government of Odisha to set up an integrated EV and EV battery manufacturing project at Cuttack and Paradip, in what can be seen as its next big step in building the EV ecosystem in the world’s third largest auto market. The project, entailing an investment of Rs 40,000 crore, will help create 11,000 direct jobs, as well as spur development of a local EV vendor ecosystem, according to a statement on Saturday.

To be sure, JSW Group’s EV project is independent of its business interests of steel to real estate, the people cited above said. It will be managed at the group level, they said.

The Odisha EV plan comes more than two months after India’s JSW Group and China's SAIC Motor Co. Ltd. formed a joint venture in India, with a focus on green mobility and to develop the EV ecosystem in the world’s third largest auto market.

JSW has a 35% stake in the new Indian joint venture.

SAIC already has a presence in India through its fully owned unit MG Motor India Pvt. Ltd. but has struggled to grow its presence in the country after Chinese investments faced increased scrutiny from New Delhi. The new joint venture with JSW will also support growth of MG Motor in India by increasing locally sourced auto parts, expanding the production capacity and growing its charging infrastructure.

And that’s where the Odisha project fits in.

Project Details

At Naraj in Cuttack, JSW Group will set up an integrated manufacturing facility for electric vehicles—passenger and commercial—as well as components that go into them. A 50 gigawatt-hour battery plant—for mobility and storage solutions will also be set up, in what JSW Group claimed would be the world’s largest single location project for the sector.

The two-phase project has an outlay of Rs 25,000 crore with potential to create 4,000 jobs.

In Jagadishpur district in Paradip, JSW Group will set up an EV components plant to make powertrains in-house. A vendor ecosystem will be developed in the state to feed in other components to the EV plant. A lithium-ion refinery, with an annual capacity of 60,000 tonnes, and a one-million tonne copper smelter will also come up in the Paradip complex.

The third phase has an outlay of Rs 15,000 crore with a potential to create 7,000 jobs.

In all, JSW Group wants to manufacture 100,000 electric trucks and buses and 300,000 electric cars annually from its planned Odisha facility. A new R&D facility is also planned at the complex.

Why Odisha?

Simply because the eastern coastal state has all the ingredients—onshore and offshore—to become a trillion-dollar economy, JSW Group Chairman Sajjan Jindal said in a statement shared with NDTV Profit.

Odisha is mineral-rich and enjoys a long coastline. It also has a stable leadership under Chief Minister Navin Patnaik that aims to transition the state from a “mineral-based economy to knowledge-based economy”, Jindal said.

The EV project also builds on the existing ties between Odisha and JSW Group. The conglomerate has already invested Rs 35,000 crore in the state, and a further Rs 1.25 lakh crore in investments is in the pipeline, apart from the Rs 40,000-crore EV outlay.

“It (EV project) represents our shared vision of building Nua-Odisha which will lead the way in the areas of sustainable mobility and energy storage, boosting Chief Minister Navin Patnaik’s dream of ‘make in Odisha for the world’,” Jindal said.