HNG: discussions with international companies for automotive glass manufacturing

C K Somany Group“s flagship company, which entered the float glass sector with a 600 tpd plant at Halol, near Vadodara, Gujarat, India, in January this year, has already gained an 18.2% market share …

C K Somany Group“s flagship company, which entered the float glass sector with a 600 tpd plant at Halol, near Vadodara, Gujarat, India, in January this year, has already gained an 18.2% market share in the clear float glass segment. “We are keen to go into the automotive glass space and are in talks with international companies for a technical and financial joint venture, said KC Jain, president, HNG Float Glass, adding that discussions are in the initial stage and an agreement could be finalized soon. The company has already invested around Rs 550 crore to set up a 600 tpd float glass plant, and a nominal investment of around Rs 30 crore would be needed to set up a line for automotive glass. “Automotive glass is processed glass, where float glass is laminated and designed according to the requirement of the original equipment manufacturer (OEM). We already have the raw material at Halol, having the right technology for manufacturing the automotive variety is crucial, Jain said. He added that HNG is interested in entering the automotive sector because of the strategic location of the company“s Halol plant, with OEMs such as the General Motors plant at Halol itself and Tata Motors“ Nano plant at Sanand near Ahmedabad, as well as several other automotive OEs in the nearby Pune industrial belt. HNG has also revised its previous plans to add 800 tpd capacity at the Halol plant. “We plan to invest around Rs 600 crore to expand capacity by another 1050 tpd that should come onstream by 2012-13, Jain said. “We are in talks with our key suppliers in Germany and Belgium for the expansion in capacity. The infrastructure is almost in place. Also, we are looking at starting three lines for container glass and two lines for float glass with capacity of 2100 tpd at our upcoming plant at Naidupet in Andhra Pradesh, Jain said. The company commissioned the Halol line in 22 months – a record, and now plans to carry out expansion at this plant first before starting on the Andhra Pradesh project. HNG is the market leader in the Indian container glass segment with a market share of over 60%, an annual income in excess of Rs 1,383 crore and net profit of Rs 154 crore for the year ended March 2010.