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Adani Group had in June raised Rs60.7 billion via a syndicated loan for a 500,000 tone copper refinery in Gujarat. Image Credit: Shutterstock

Mumbai: Adani Enterprises plans to invest $5.2 billion in setting up an alumina refinery in the eastern Indian state of Odisha, as Gautam Adani, Asia’s richest man, adds one more business to his rapidly-expanding empire.

The flagship company of the Adani Group got the approval to build the refinery and a captive power plant in Rayagada for an investment of Rs416.53 billion ($5.2 billion), according to a Twitter post by the office of the state’s Chief Minister, Naveen Patnaik. The refinery will have an annual capacity of 4 million tons, according to another statement by the local government.

Billionaire Adani had set up a wholly owned subsidiary - Mundra Aluminium - in December, signaling his aspirations in a sector that is dominated by heavyweights such as the Aditya Birla Group and the London-based Vedanta Resources. The tycoon, with the world’s biggest wealth gain this year to $126 billion, built his empire on agri-trading and ports but has speedily diversified into airports, data centers and renewable energy, often moving in lockstep with the Indian government’s policy priorities.

Adani had scaled up his nascent cement business overnight by acquiring Holcim’s India units for $10.5 billion in May, less than a year after setting up a cement subsidiary. He is now steadily building up his group’s metals portfolio after announcing plans for steel and copper plants earlier in the year.

In June, Adani Enterprises raised Rs60.7 billion in a syndicated club loan for a 500,000 tons new copper refinery complex in Gujarat. The company also announced a tie up with South Korean steel major Posco in January to explore business opportunities in India, including the setting up of a green steel mill.