Exide invests Rs 420 crore
Kolkata-headquartered leading battery maker Exide Industries will now shell out Rs 420 crore afresh over a period of 18 months (starting from next April) to start manufacturing batteries for motorcycles and start a smelting unit, said company's managing director and CEO Gautam Chatterjee . He said the company would be investing nearly Rs 300 crore in the proposed two-wheeler battery unit and another Rs 120 crore in the smelting unit.
The company had been looking for 25 acre of land adjacent to the existing factory for company’s expansion into smelting plant, for which they were in talks with Kolkata Port Trust.
Chatterjee made this announcement at the inauguration of India's first ever punch grid battery manufacturing unit at Haldia, built in technical collaboration with East Penn Manufacturing Company of the US and with a capital outlay of Rs 700 crore. Interestingly, West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee who inaugurated the unit, almost immediately assured the battery maker that the state would be providing 25 acre of land from Haldia Development Authority (HDA) for the new smelting plant. This smelting plant will come up a reasonable distance away from residential area to ensure that people are not affected by pollution, said Chatterjee.
Responding to queries from the media about whether demonetisation has affected the battery industry, Chatterjee said sales in the replacement market have not impacted due to demonetisation, but its two-wheeler OEM battery sales have dipped 30 per cent in December. "In motorcycles, we have seen the sales of OEM (original equipment manufacturer) have dipped by 30 per cent in December. Since there is one to one correlation, our sales also down by same in the segment in the month of December," he said.
Ritwik Mukherjee