There is very less information about Aluminium in ancient India. As such a large industry was never on record. It is only after British had landed in India, things starting shaping up for this amazing metal.
First Aluminium Industry in India was set-up in the year 1808. However, to establish it into a complete functional and production commercially viable another 46 years was taken. Aluminium is one of most reactive elements in its nascent form and which is why to reach towards a proper mechanism for extracting Aluminium from the ore took the country quite a bit of time.
It was only in the year 1938, commissioning of Aluminium Corporation for India’s plant ensued and full-fledged production of Aluminium began in India. This plant was built with financial and technical association with Alcan, Canada that had a capacity of producing 2,500 tonnes each year. This was what happened in the pre independence era.
After the British left India, Hindustan Aluminum Corporation (Hindalco) in the year of 1959 was set up. It which producing with a capacity of 20,000 tonnes per annum.
Malco (a public sector enterprise) that produced a capacity of 10,000 tonnes every year was commissioned in 1965.
During the 1970’s Indian Aluminium Industry Govt. started regulating and controlling the industries. Restrictions were imposed in entry as well as price distribution controls were very common in the Aluminium Industry.
Aluminium Control Order was instigated that forced aluminium producers to sell 50% of their generated products for electrical usages in India.
Finally, in the year 1987, National Aluminium Company or popularly known as NALCO was formed to produce 0.218 million tonnes capacity Aluminium per annum. And just 2 years later, in 1989, all stringent orders (like selling 50% production) on regulating and controlling Aluminium in the country were removed by the government.
When liberalization happened in 1991 with de-licensing of industry, it led to a twofold growth rate of 12% of the Aluminium industry, jumping from a growth rate of 6% in the year 1980.
Aluminium is widely available element in the earth-crust (it is the 2nd most available metallic-element in the earth after silicon) and constitutes almost 7.3% by mass. Presently in the world Aluminium holds second position as the most used metal after steel.
India currently has 1.5 million tons (MT) aluminium production and the overall country’s consumption is about 2 MT. Top companies in Indian sectors are – Hindalco, Nalco, Sterlite, Bharat Aluminium company Ltd. and and Indian Aluminium company Ltd.