Secondary Lead Industry in India – way forward

Over the last few years, India has emerged as one of the major producers of secondary lead. The increase in ULB recycling is due to the double-digit growth in the lead acid battery sector on account of increased demand from multiple industrial and domestic sectors, especially automotive, inverter, telecom, railway, solar energy and  energy storage, and e-rickshaws. In addition, there has been an increase in the amount of imported used lead acid batteries and remelted lead ingots, that, in turn have led to more recycling plant licenses and authorizations.

Ever since the outbreak of COVID-19 in India from February 2020 the subsequent lockdowns have contributed to a a fall in the sale of automobiles, a slowdown in new solar energy installations and reduced movement of the population. As a consequence the lead acid battery industry witnessed some temporary setbacks. However, since the beginning of April 2021, there have been signs of improved demand from the solar energy sector, the automobile industry, e-rickshaw businesses and the  telecom sector. This upturn is indeed welcome news for the recycling industry and the hope is that the anticipated Coronavirus Wave 3 will be a short lived setback that will not have a major detrimental impact on the economy and industry.

In any event, the long term forecast for the Indian economy is that the secondary lead industry will bounce back once again, largely meeting the domestic demand for lead, lead alloys and lead oxides for the Indian lead battery industry, with aboutAbout 75% of India’s lead demand met by the domestic secondary sector.


L Pugazhenthy Executive Director, India Lead Zinc Development Association, India

Mr L Pugazhenthy, well known as “Mr Pug”, a Past National President of The Indian Institute of Metals (IIM) is also the Executive Director of India Lead Zinc Development Association, a 60 year old non–profit, non-commercial body that disseminates technical information on Lead & Zinc and their downstream markets. He is a Metallurgical Engineer by profession followed by Post Graduation in Business Management. He has more than 45 years experience in the applications of Lead & Zinc; he was instrumental in drafting the Battery (Management & Handling) Rules for the Ministry of Environment & Forest, Govt. of India. Pug also received the International Lead Medal, at Macau, in 2009.