Essel Mining & Industries, an AV Birla group company, is one of India's largest private sector iron ore mining companies. The company, which has been operating at Barbil in Orissa since 1970, has large reserves of high quality iron ore with a very high ferrous content. At its crushing facilities, the company produces sized and calibrated iron ore suitable for sponge iron and pig iron plants in India and overseas.
Oleo chemicals, fatty acids, glycerine
Pan Century Oleo Chemicals, an AV Birla group venture in Malaysia promoted in 1991 produces high purity fatty acids and glycerine. Its product range includes caprylic-capric acid, lauric acid, myristic acid, palmitic acid, stearic acid, split / distilled fatty acid, glycerine. All products manufactured in the plant are 'kosher' and 'halal' certified, according to the group.
The company's fatty acids are used as raw materials for soaps, detergents and cosmetics, in the production of plasticisers and as additives for plastics, rubber and textiles, and in paints and surface coatings. Glycerine is used in foods, oral care products, tobacco, drugs, cosmetics, and alkyd resins.
Pan Century Oleo Chemicals' 85,000 tpa oleo chemicals plant uses technology from Badger Engineers, a part of the Raytheon group of the US. The main plant and machinery were supplied by Extraction De Smet AG of Belgium, and the hydrogenation plant by Buss AG of Switzerland.
Palm oil refining
Pan Century Edible Oils, the AV Birla group company in Malaysia, is said to be the world's largest palm oil refinery at a single location. The plant processes over 1 million tonnes of palm oil annually, or nearly 13 per cent of Malaysia's palm oil production, according to the group.
The company's products include refined palm oil, olein and palm stearin. Its downstream integrated facilities produce fatty acids, glycerine, soap noodle, and other speciality products.
The AV Birla group has allied with the public sector Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Ltd. to promote Mangalore Refinery & Petrochemicals Limited, whose petroleum refinery at Mangalore in Karnataka went on stream in early 1996. The refinery's capacity, currently 3 million tpa, is being expanded to 9 million tpa.
The MRPL refinery, which produces LPG, motor spirit, diesel, aviation fuel, kerosene, fuel oil, bitumen, naphtha, is the first in India to have both a hydro cracker and a continuous catalytic reformer. This configuration enables MRPL to make products meeting environmental standards like lead free petrol and low sulphur diesel.
The AV Birla group has considerable experience in building and managing power plants through its captive power generation facilities with an aggregate capacity of over 1,100 MW. The group operates thermal plants, coal-based and diesel-based.
One of its success stories in power is its plant at Renusagar in Uttar Pradesh, which supplies power to group company Hindalco's aluminium complex. This plant has consistently recorded a plant load factor of over 90 per cent.
The group is currently implementing a 578 MW power project at Bina in Madhya Pradesh, which will operate as an independent power producer. Bina Power is the group's joint venture with Powergen plc, the second largest power generation company in the UK.
Rayon grade wood pulp
The AV Birla group is the largest producer of rayon grade wood pulp in India with an aggregate capacity of 130,000 tonnes per annum. Its rayon grade pulp plants at Mavoor in Kerala and Harihar in Karnataka are based on indigenous know-how and raw materials.
The group's pulp plant at Mavoor has been in operation since 1963. Pioneering efforts at this plant include:
- manufacture of rayon grade pulp from bamboo for the first time in the world - (Grasim is, perhaps, the only manufacturer of rayon grade pulp using bamboo)
- use of heterogeneous species of pulpable wood including eucalyptus and wild growth species like prosopis juliflora for rayon grade pulp manufacture, which helped the group tide over difficulties in procuring bamboo.
The Harihar Polyfibres plant commenced production in 1972 with indigenously developed technology using hybrid Eucalyptus, which was a milestone in rayon pulping technology in India.
In a joint venture with Tembec Inc of Canada the group acquired a pulp mill in Canada in early 1998. The entire production of this mill - 1.10 lakh tonnes will be used exclusively for the captive consumption of the group's viscose staple fibre units in India, Thailand and Indonesia.
The AV Birla group has rayon yarn manufacturing facilities in India, Thailand and Indonesia.
Rayon yarn, or viscose yarn, is used for weaving rayon or blended fabrics with a mixture of polyester filament and other yarns. Viscose filament yarn has multiple uses. Apart from its use in fabrics with cotton and polyester yarn, it is used in a wide range of industrial applications, including tyre cords, conveyor belts, fire fighting hoses.
Rubber products / medical examination gloves
The group's Pan Century Rubber Products Sdn. Bhd. produces high quality latex examination gloves - powder free (two types); powdered (standard and hypo); and specials (long length, coloured). These gloves are available in five sizes (extra small to extra large) and with a smooth or rough surface. All products are approved by ADA, CGSB, CE etc. The US FDA has approved labelling for chlorinated powder free gloves as "low protein examination gloves".
Sea water magnesia
The AV Birla group has set up a 50,000-tonne sea water magnesia plant at Vishakapatnam in Andhra Pradesh. This plant is the first of its kind in South Asia.
With technology imported from Refractories Consulting and Engineering GmbH of the Radex group of Austria, this plant uses purity limestone, fresh water and sea water. Sea water magnesia is used as a raw material for high temperature resistant refractory bricks used in steel furnaces.
Thai Polyphosphates & Chemicals Company, the AV Birla group's joint venture with Albright Wilson plc of the UK - the largest sodium phosphate manufacturer worldwide - produces sodium phosphates. Its sodium phosphates are used mainly in detergents and cleaning products. The group also produces a wide range of speciality phosphates used in seafood preservation, water and metal treatment, toothpaste, ceramic tiles, and many other essential products used in everyday living.
About 15 per cent of the phosphates output is exported to South East Asian countries and to New Zealand and Japan.
The AV Birla group has an information technology unit, Birla Consultancy & Software Services, which provide IT consulting and software development services. This Mumbai-based unit has over 200 specialists who handle various assignments, including software development, systems re-engineering, system integration services, networking, multimedia, Internet, software maintenance, Y2K solutions, and training. The unit has offices in the US, UK and Singapore.
In 1993 the AV Birla group set up Vikram Ispat to produce sponge iron. This 7.5 lakh tonne per annum capacity unit is the world's largest single module hot briquetted iron plant and India's third largest gas-based HBI plant. It is also the only plant in the world producing HBI and DRI (direct reduced iron) from the same reactor. The plant is based on HYL III technology from Hylsa of Mexico. Sponge iron is used by mini steel plants (electric arc furnaces) to produce steel.
The company's sponge iron is sold as Vikram Super HBI. The company exports the product to the Philippines, Indonesia, South Korea, Taiwan, China, and Italy.
The AV Birla group's Thai Sulphites & Chemicals Company, based in Thailand, produces sodium sulphite and sodium meta-bisulphite with a process licence and basic engineering from Raytheon Engineering of the US. The company exports 80 per cent of its produce to the US, and to Asian, Australian, and European countries.
Birla AT&T Communications, a joint venture between the Aditya Birla Group and AT&T, world leader in telecom, was created in early 1996. Birla AT&T is licensed to provide cellular services in the Gujarat, Maharashtra (excluding Mumbai), and Goa. The services were launched in October 1996.
The AV Birla group entered the textile industry with its unit at Gwalior in Madhya Pradesh in 1950. Currently it has seven textile units in India, two in Thailand, one in the Philippines and two in Indonesia.
The group's Indian units produce a variety of yarns, including worsted yarn (100% wool and polyester wool blends), flax (the group is the sole manufacturer of flax yarn in India), fire fighting hose, cotton and synthetic yarns, blended yarns, coloured yarns and high quality fancy yarns. They also make a wide variety of fabrics, including linen, rayon, polyester/viscose suiting materials, and hosiery items. Its brand names are Gwalior Suiting, Graviera Suiting and Sumo, and the recently introduced high fashion superfine worsted sub-brands Royal Club, Old Trafford, Tussadi, Silkol, Scot-weave, Official, and Senator. The group has also launched the international suiting brand Scabal in India. The group also markets shirting material and ready-made garments under the Wall Street brand.
The group is the largest manufacturer of viscose filament yarn, fire fighting hoses in India and the only producer of linen fabric in India.
The AV Birla group's units in Thailand, Philippines and Indonesia make spun yarn (viscose, polyester viscose), spun polyester, acrylic, polyester cotton, worsted acrylic dyed, grey yarns, viscose yarn, polyester viscose yarn, and acrylic yarns. A significant portion of production is exported to Europe, Asia, America, and Australia.
also see : A V Birla group product portfolio - 1
A V Birla group product portfolio - 2