Saint Gobain's 2nd plant to start in Oct-Nov

French glass major Saint Gobain, which is investing Rs 700 crore on its expansion plans in Chennai, will commence production from its second float glass plant in October-November this year.

Saint Gobain had announced in 2003 an expansion plan involving setting up of a second float glass plant and an automotive glass plant in Sriperumbudur, near Chennai.

The automotive glass plant commenced operations in July 2005, a seven-member delegation led by Jacques Aschenbroich, chairman and president, Saint Gobain Vitrage, from France, informed Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa, during discussions in Chennai today.

The delegation, which called on Jayalalithaa, said Saint Gobain chose to expand in Chennai itself due to the favourable investment climate, strong and reliable infrastructure like power, port logistics, abundant availability of skilled manpower and excellent support offered by the state government, a Tamil Nadu government release said.

The 32 billion euro turnover (Rs 1,79,200 crore) Saint Gobain had already invested Rs 525 crore in Chennai to set up the first float glass plant with a capacity of about 1.80 lakh mt per year. "The Chennai plant has become one of the most cost-effective plants and has emerged as an export production centre," the release said.

Saint Gobain had signed an agreement with the Tamil Nadu government in November 2003 for its expansion plans involving an integrated glass manufacturing complex for automotive, architectural, building, solar power and control applications at an investment of Rs 500 crore. The state government through SIPCOT had allotted 57 acres of land in Sriperumbudur Industrial Park to establish this expansion plant.

As against an initial outlay of Rs 500 crore, the French major has already invested Rs 700 crore, officials said. The company had also invested about Rs 5 crore in rainwater harvesting to conserve water.

Jayalalithaa assured Saint Gobain the state government's full support and co-operation on the expansion project, the release said.

Anand Y Mahajan, general delegate, Saint Gobain South Asia, B Santhanam, MD, Saint Gobain Glass India, D Philibert, Managing Director, Saint Gobain Sekurit India, Jacques Le Coz, technical director, Saint Gobain Glass India, T Bhaskaran, head (finance and systems) formed part of the delegation.

Finance Minister C Ponnaiyan, Industries Minister Nainar Nagenthran, Chief Secretary N Narayanan and SIPCOT CMD T R Srinivasan were also present. (R Rangaraj)

600450 Saint Gobain's 2nd plant to start in Oct-Nov

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