Gravita €34m loan for Africa recycling, sets sights on Central America

Gravita €34m loan for Africa recycling, sets sights on Central America

Gravita €34m loan for Africa recycling, sets sights on Central America 885 590 Batteries International

May 4, 2023: Lead battery recycler Gravita India is to use a €34 million ($37.5 million) loan from European financial development institutions to expand its operations in Africa, the group’s CEO told Batteries International yesterday.

Yogesh Malhotra announced the term loan, from France’s Proparco and Austrian development bank OeEB, during a full-year earnings call in which he also revealed Gravita hopes to launch a recycling plant in Central America — saying the group is also ready to invest in potential mergers and acquisitions.

Malhotra reported “stellar” results for the year ended March 2023 including ebitda of Rs286 crore ($35 million) — reflecting a year-on-year growth of 33%. Profit after tax was Rs201 crore, reflecting YoY growth of 44%.

On the loan deal, Malhotra told Batteries International it would support an expansion of Gravita’s lead, aluminium and plastic recycling operations in Africa.

He said the group also intends to build a steel recycling facility in Africa, although details are not being disclosed at this stage.

The loan agreement was made with the group’s Gravita Netherlands subsidiary and followed what Gravita said was “rigorous due diligence” of its environmental, social and governance activities.

Company secretary Nitin Gupta said Gravita was always striving to reduce its carbon footprint and minimize its impact on the environment.

He said the loan was “a significant milestone in Gravita’s journey towards becoming the most valuable company in the recycling industry globally”.

Gravita Netherlands agreed a memorandum of understanding in February to invest in the construction of a lead batteries recycling plant in Oman — its first in the Middle East — and to hold a 50% stake in the project.

 The group has not named its partners in the project, but Malhotra told Batteries International yesterday that all are existing businesses in Oman’s scrap sector.

Meanwhile, talks are continuing with potential tech partners to build a pilot lithium recycling facility at Gravita’s Mundra lead recycling plant in Gujarat.

In May 2022, Gravita unveiled plans to use a by-product of a new waste rubber recycling operation at its plant in Ghana as potential fuel for its lead and aluminium recycling business.