Tata Chemicals: soda ash plant expansion on hold

Tata Chemicals Ltd has put expansion of its soda ash plant in western India on hold because of weak market conditions, a top official said on 24 November 2008.
“This is not a good time for expansion,…

Tata Chemicals Ltd has put expansion of its soda ash plant in western India on hold because of weak market conditions, a top official said on 24 November 2008. “This is not a good time for expansion, due to current market conditions. We will review this in six months”, chief financial officer P K Ghose told the press. Tata Chemicals had planned to expand capacity at its Mithapur soda ash plant in Gujarat to 1.2 million tonnes a year, from the current figure of 975,000 tonnes, at a cost of INR 1.5 billion. “No production cut (in soda ash) is anticipated. Indian market may see softening of (soda ash) prices”, he said”. All other expansions are on track, Mr. Ghose said. He said the company“s INR 2.1 billion investment in de-bottlenecking at the Babrala plant in Uttar Pradesh is on track. “We are going to put money where we get immediate returns”, Mr .Ghosh said, indicating that they were expecting immediate returns from investments in the Babrala plant.