Mumbai: Asian Paints is proposing to set up, subject to obtaining necessary approvals and licences, a unit for the manufacture of 100,000 tonnes per annum (tpa) of paints in Pondicherry.
The proposed plant, subject to approvals, will be Asian Paints' largest plant in the world and would be the most state-of-the-art plant set up by the company. The Pondicherry plant will be scaled to its full capacity over a period of time and the investment in the mentioned project will also be made in a phased manner.
Says Asian Paints' vice-chairman and managing director Ashwin Dani: ''The proposed plant became imperative due to the good growth rates witnessed by the company in the last couple of years. The last manufacturing facility set up by the company was in 1989, and the company has done an excellent job in last couple of years to further sweat the assets as well as increase productivity and capacity at existing plants. Also, all water-based products, especially emulsions, have witnessed very good growth rates, which have further strained capacity at the existing facilities for these products.''
Asian Paints' present combined capacity of the existing four plants in India is 230,900 tpa. For the financial year ended 31 March 2002, Asian Paints sold around 201,000 tonnes of paints, registering a volume growth of around 9.6 per cent over the previous financial year.
The last green-field manufacturing facility set up by Asian Paints in India was in 1989 at Kasna, Uttar Pradesh. In the recent past, Asian Paints had received clearances to expand the capacity of its Ankleshwar and Patancheru plants by 30,000 tpa in each of these plants, thus enhancing the company's capacity in each of these plants to 80,000 tpa.
Asian Paints has four paint manufacturing units in India. These units are situated in Bhandup (Maharashtra), Ankleshwar (Gujarat), Patancheru (Andhra Pradesh) and Kasna. The company has two facilities as part of its backward integration process. It has a factory at Ankleshwar that manufactures phthalic anhydride and in Cuddalore, Tamil Nadu, which manufactures pentaerythritol.
All the company's paint plants have been certified for ISO 9001 and have also received the ISO 14001 certificate for Environment Management Standard. The phthalic anhydride plant has been certified for ISO 9002 and ISO 14001 whereas the pentaerythritol plant has been certified for ISO 14001.