Saturday, January 20, 2007

MAN to set up US plant, Indore SEZ



MUMBAI: Man Industries (MIL), a flagship company of the UK-based MAN
group and a leading producer of steel saw pipes in India, is on an
expansion mode that will see the firm setting up a $50-million facility
on the south coast of the US and build IT/ITeS special economic zones
(SEZs) near Indore. The company had recently demerged its aluminium
division and has plans to list it on the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE).

“We are looking at the feasibility of setting up a plant in the US and
it will include saw pipe manufacturing and coating units,” said chief
executive (projects) Somnath Roy. “The capacity of the plant will be
about 300,000 tonne per annum.” MIL had received two orders from US oil
companies worth $100 million late last year.

While the company, like other Indian pipe manufacturers, is targeting
the US market, it is also looking at new ones, including Latin America
and African countries such as Nigeria.

“India has emerged as one of the four global hubs for pipe production
along with Japan, China and Europe. We want to leverage on our cost and
logistics advantage and see opportunities in the US, West Asia and East
Europe,” Mr Roy added.
The company, which expects to increase revenues by about 50% to Rs 1,250
crore in FY07, has production units in Anjar (Gujarat) and Pithampur
(Madhya Pradesh).

It is now investing Rs 80 crore to increase the capacity of its helical
SAW pipes by about 600 km (an industry jargon to indicate the length of
pipes manufactured every year) at its Anjar plant. “This will take our
total capacity, including that of the longitudinal saw pipes, to 2,600
km per year,” said Mr Roy.

Industry estimates say that in tonnage terms this could amount to almost
a million tonne a year.MIL, which is the first Asian company to issue a
global depository receipt at the Dubai International Financial Exchange,
is also talking with the Madhya Pradesh government to set up an SEZ for
the IT/ITeS sectors.

The company is said to be in the process of locking about 265 acres near
Indore and is in talks with prospective partners. “The company is also
looking to diversify into the real estate and hospitality businesses.
But it’s still early days and we are scouting for prospective areas. Our
focus on saw pipes remains,” added Mr Roy.


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