French float glass major Saint-Gobain is planning to triple its turnover over the next decade, from the current level of around Rs 7,000 crore.
The company said that it would look at investing in India to cater to domestic and export markets. Since its entry into India in 1996, the company has invested about Rs 7,500 crore.
The company plans to invest another Rs 720 crore and a new facility in Andhra Pradesh.
Speaking on the sidelines of the inauguration of company's Rs 1,200 crore third plant, near Chennai, Pierre-Andre de Chalendar, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Compagnie de Saint-Gobain France, said that as one of the fastest growing economies in the world, India is an important market and investment destination for Saint-Gobain.
"We see immense opportunities in India to utilise our expertise in sustainable building solutions to enhance human habitats and promote well-being in living spaces. Over the past two decades, we have consistently invested in developing new markets and in building new world-class manufacturing‘ facilities, in technology and in human capital," he said.
The company has invested Rs 1,200 crore in the new facility, which was set up next to the company's existing unit near Chennai. With this investment company's cumulative investment in the Glass Complex, Sriperumbudur rose to more than Rs 3,000 crore, while in India its cumulative investment has reached to around Rs 7,500 crore.
B Santhanam, Managing Director, Saint-Gobain India said that the Indian operations continued to be cash surplus and all the investments are to be funded through the accruals. He added that the company doesn't see any equity infusion. It continues to look at organic and inorganic growth that will be funded through internal accruals.
The proposed Rs 720 crore investment in Tamil Nadu will be for additional lines, research centre among others.
On its Andhra Pradesh plans, Saint-Gobain India’s Chairman Anand Y Mahajan said the group is exploring setting up a gypsum-plastered board plant there but a firm decision is yet to be taken.
Talks on with NLC to buy sand for glass making
Saint-Gobain India has said that is talking to NLC Ltd, under the Ministry of Coal, to use a portion of sand mined by the company to manufacture glass.
B Santhanam, Managing Director said, “We have found that the sand layer above the lignite layer can be used to manufacture glass. We have developed a beneficiation process whereby the sand could be used after removing the impurities.”
NLC’s lignite mines in Neyveli in Tamil Nadu are open cast and the sand mined is dumped outside.
“We want the Tamil Nadu government and NLC to agree on logistics and royalty for the sand,” Santhanam said.
Saint-Gobain currently sources sands from north Chennai, Gujarat and Egypt. The company's requirement of sand is around 450,000 tonnes.
Santhanam also hoped that as a pipeline to transport liquefied natural gas (LNG) would be laid from Ennore to the Saint-Gobain plant at Sriperumbudur, to help the company bring energy consumption down. He said the company would then stop using furnace oil and reduce its carbon footprint.
It may be noted, the Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) is setting up an LNG terminal at Ennore near Chennai. Initially the company may get LNG through tankers, but for the long run, it is requesting for a pipeline.