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13. July 2008

India - Tata Metaliks to double turnover

Calcutta -  Tata Metaliks Ltd, the largest pig iron manufacturer in the country, is poised for a quantum jump in business.

The company, which is now a subsidiary of Tata Steel, has set a target to double its turnover in two years.

Apart from betting big on pig iron — it has two plants, one at Kharagpur in Bengal and the other at Redi in Maharshtra — the company expects ductile iron and casting to contribute significantly to its growth.

In the annual report, H M Nerurkar, chairman of Tata Metaliks, said the company was looking at more than Rs 2,000 crore turnover by 2010.

In the last fiscal, it notched up gross revenue of Rs 1,185.47 crore against Rs 781.75 crore in the previous year.

By 2010, the ductile iron pipe plant, coming up in Kharagpur in collaboration with Kubota Corporation of Japan, will be ready.

Kubota Corporation is a leading ductile iron (DI) pipe manufacturer of the world.

Japanese trading company Metal One will also be a partner in the Rs 150-crore project, which is expected to significantly add to the company’s bottomline.

Pig iron produced by Tata Metaliks at Kharagpur would be the raw material for the 110,000-tonne capacity DI pipe plant.

As part of forward integration, the company has forayed into castings. It is helping foundries — which make castings products — to improve their product quality.

Tata Metaliks gives foundries pig iron, get castings from them and then sell those under its own brand name.

The company believes the business model will work well as the industry has grown 24 per cent annually from 2004.

India is already the fifth largest producer of castings and the sector is expected to grow by at least 9 per cent in the coming years.

The projection to double business, however, is independent of the company’s plan to foray into steel making.

It is eyeing a steel plant in Karnataka having a capacity of 800,000 tonnes. Its proposal to build a similar plant in Bengal has, however, got stuck.

Surging pig iron prices are also expected to help Tata Metaliks achieve its target.

Realising that captive raw material will be the best way to secure profitability, Tata Metaliks has stepped up its efforts to get coal, iron ore and dolomite mines.

It has applied for iron ore mines in Jharkhand and Orissa. It is also seeking captive mines for the new plant in Karnataka.

For coking coal, it has approached Bengal and Madhya Pradesh. It also hopes to build a sinter plant to use iron ore fines instead of costlier lumps to rein in cost.

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