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IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, will invest $12 million to help Owens Corning (India) Limited to expand the capacity of its glass-fibre manufacturing facility at Taloja, in the Indian state of Maharashtra.
The project expands the existing glass melter and related downstream equipment and modernizes the technology deployed. This will result in significant energy and efficiency improvements.
The global market for glass-fibre, which was estimated at 3.2 million tons in 2006, is projected to grow at an annual rate of 4.2 percent, reaching 3.7 million tons by 2010. The Indian glass-fibre market is small compared to major markets, such as Europe and the United States.
Over the last few years, demand for glass-fibre in India grew at an average of about 20 percent a year, reaching 49,500 tons in 2006, when installed capacity was 58,000 tons annually. The demand is expected to increase by 18 percent a year over the medium term, driven by the growing infrastructure and automotive sectors. With Owen Corning’s expansion, India’s installed glass-fibre capacity will increase to 67,000 tons a year by the end of 2007.
“IFC’s investments will help us continue to improve our efficiency and competitiveness,” explained Satish Kulkarni, Managing Director of Owens Corning (India) Limited. “We have been partnering with IFC since 1997, when they helped us set up an advanced technology greenfield venture. Their global knowledge and expertise has helped us strengthen our business in the region, as well as influenced other lenders’ long-term view of our company.”
“Working with Indian companies to restructure and expand their businesses, while strengthening their competitiveness, is a key component of IFC’s strategy in South Asia. With this investment, we will help expand the capacity of glass-fiber and encourage Owens Corning to continue implementing environmentally friendly technologies and processes,” said Paolo M. Martelli, IFC Regional Director for South Asia.
“We are pleased with the progress that Owens Corning has made over the years in establishing itself as a strong player in India’s glass-fibre industry,” said Dimitris Tsitsiragos, IFC Director for Global Manufacturing and Services. “Our continued partnership shows our confidence in the company, as we endorse its commitment to following good practices and raising standards in the industry.”
Owens Corning (India) Limited is a joint venture between Owens Corning U.S.A., and Mahindra & Mahindra, India.
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