Pilkington considers plant at Vizag, India

UK-based Pilkington Automotive is considering a manufacturing operation in Vizag, Andhra Pradesh with an investment outlay of about INR 6 billion. It would be the firm“s first manufacturing venture i…

UK-based Pilkington Automotive is considering a manufacturing operation in Vizag, Andhra Pradesh with an investment outlay of about INR 6 billion. It would be the firm“s first manufacturing venture in India. The company has selected 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, and the city“s port facilities. Pilkington“s managing director of India operations, Siva Chillapally, who works out of Ohio in the USA, met the Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh, Y. S. Rajasekhara Reddy on 12 October 2004 to brief him on the plans. Responding positively to the Pilkington proposals, the chief minister is understood to have asked officials to examine the firm“s requirements for the project. Pilkington needs about 40 million cubic meters of gas per annum for its power plant as well as raw materials. A float glass and an automotive glass fabrication facility are being planned. The project requires about 25 hectares of land, sources said. The Pilkington investment would be good news for the Andhra Pradesh state government, which is trying to attract domestic and international investors to the state. The government is planning 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 lately been making all possible efforts to attract major investments into Vizag. Pilkington may ask 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 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.