Foundation Stone Laid at New Ceat Plant
The foundation stone for Ceat Ltd’s planned new facility in Gujarat, India has officially been laid. The honour of laying the stone went to Gujarat state chief minister Narendra Modi, who was present at the site in Halol along with RPG Enterprises chairman Harsh Goenka, Ceat managing director Paras K Chowdhary and Ceat vice president (sales and marketing) Arnab Banerjee. The greenfield project, when it enters its first phase of operation, will employ more than 1,000 workers.
The first tyre is scheduled to emerge from the plant by May 2010. The facility will be built on a 125-acre site and is expected to manufacture four million tyres during its phase one operations. Subsequently, capacity will be increased to 12 million in the next decade. An investment of Rs 7 billion (£103.7 million) will be made in two phases. In the first phase (2009-2010), Rs 5 billion (£74 million) will be invested, with the remainder invested in the second phase (2011-2012).
On the occasion of the site’s traditional “Bhoomi Pujan” foundation laying ceremony, Mr. Modi stated, ”we welcome Ceat into our state. Ceat is a new plant and will add to the economy of the state. We wish Ceat all the best”.
“With Gujarat emerging as the next auto corridor of India, Ceat is confident this plant will give us the added mileage for increasing our market share,” said Mr. Goenka. “We are thankful to the Gujarat Government for the support given to Ceat. We will re-iterate the trust shown in us by bringing in value to the state’s economy.
“Halol was the perfect site because of the support Ceat received from the administration, the state’s friendly industrial policy and infrastructure support such as gas from GSPL, water from the Narmada canal and power from GSEB’s local substation which is located just 500 metres away from the site,” he added. “Proximity to the port will help Ceat with the convenience of procuring the raw material and exporting tyres. Halol being a ‘No Octroi Zone’ (no local tax zone) will add to the low cost of production and help in focusing on a higher per man hour output.”
The plant will manufacture truck, bus, light truck and passenger car radials. Exports are anticipated to account for around 25 to 40 per cent of total production.