French float glass manufacturer Saint-Gobain clearly has big plans for growth in India. Its fully-owned Indian subsidiary Saint-Gobain Glass India Ltd plans to invest nearly Rs1,200 crore in various projects in the country over two years.
The company is setting up a unit with a capacity of three lakh tonnes annually in Bhiwadi, Rajasthan, with a phased investment of nearly Rs1,000 crore; of which Rs800 crore would be invested this year itself.
Addressing newspersons in Chennai on Friday, managing director B Santhanam said the unit would become operational by early 2012.
Earlier this week, Saint-Gobain acquired the float-glass business of Ahmedabad-based Sezal Glass for Rs686 crore. Now it is planning to invest an additional Rs100 crore in Sezal. ''The acquisition will be done through the FDI (foreign direct investment) route. Around $140 million will be required as equity,'' Santhanam said.
He added that the company would also invest Rs100 crore in and around the existing Sriperumbudur facility located near Chennai to manufacture float glass for the architecture and automotive industries.
With the three facilities, ''We will be able to cut costs on logistics. There is a huge opportunity for us to leverage on that'', he said.