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Pilkington mulls production unit
B Dasarath Reddy in Hyderabad | October 13, 2004 11:35 IST
UK-based Pilkington Automotive, one of the world's largest high quality glass float makers, is mulling a manufacturing operation in Vizag with an investment outlay of about Rs 700 crore (Rs 7 billion).
This would be the Pilkington's first manufacturing venture in India and it has similar glass manufacturing lines in about 25 countries.
Glass being a power intensive industry, the company has chosen the port city of Vizag to combine the advantage of cheaper gas-based power, which is expected to be available in the next couple of years time, and the port facilities which are available in the city.
Pilkington's managing director of India operations, Siva Chillapally, who is based out of Ohio in the US, yesterday met the chief minister Y S Rajasekhara Reddy here and apprised him about their plans.
Responding positively to the proposals of Pilkington, the chief minister is understood to have asked the officials to examine the requirements of the firm for its project.
The $5.2 billion multinational company requires about 40 million cubic meters of gas per annum for its captive power plant and also raw materials for the glass, namely silica, sand, dolomite, lime stone and soda ash.
The company plans to set up a glass float facility as well as automotive glass fabrication facility. The project requires about 25 hectares of land, sources said.
The Pilkington investment is good news for the state government which is trying to attract both domestic and international investment into the state.
The government is planning a a huge industrial corridor along the state's seacoast from Kakinada to Kalingapatnam covering four districts and three special economic zones including the existing Vizag SEZ and has of late been pulling out all the stops to attract big ticket investments into Vizag.
Though the MNC is looking at other possible locations for its India operations, the state officials are hopeful that project would come up at Vizag.
Among other things, the company may request the government to provide power at cheaper rates until additional gas is available from the KG Basin for its own plant.
The company is also particular about the gas pipe line for its gas requirements. "Based on the kind of investment and urgency, the state government can also help expedite the laying of a gas pipeline from Kakinada to Vizag to meet the energy requirements of these companies," a senior state government official said.