SAIL to invest Rs10,264 crore to develop raw material mines

SAIL has embarked on a Rs70,000 crore capacity expansion plan to ramp up its domestic output to 23.46 MTPA by 2012-13 from 14.35 MTPA at present

Steel Authority of India Ltd (SAIL) will invest Rs10,264 crore to develop mines catering to its increased raw material requirement upon completion of an ambitious expansion programme.

The company has already embarked on a Rs70,000 crore capacity expansion plan to ramp up its domestic output to 23.46 million tonnes per annum (MTPA) by 2012-13 from 14.35 MTPA at present.

The company's iron ore requirement would increase from 23.2 million tonnes (MT) at present to a post-expansion level of 39 MT, which will be met from captive sources, the state-run firm's chairman CS Verma said in Bhilai.

Verma said SAIL has lined up Rs10,264 crore for development of the mines, as per an official statement issued. The state-run firm at present runs seven major iron ore mines, four of which are in Jharkhand and the remaining in Orissa. Verma had visited Bhilai to review the modernisation and expansion of the Bhilai Steel Plant (BSP), which is being undertaken at a cost of about Rs17,200 crore. He also reviewed the progress of work on the ultra-modern Universal Rail Mill being set up at the plant at a cost of Rs1,200 crore.

On Monday, SAIL ended 6.14% up at Rs111.45 on the Bombay Stock Exchange, while the benchmark Sensex rose 1.24% to 16,341.70.

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Honda expects to roll out vehicles from Rajasthan unit in 2-3 years

HSCI had committed an investment of Rs1,000 crore to set up the facility at Tapukara with an installed capacity of 60,000 units per annum

Japanese car maker Honda expects its second Indian facility at Tapukara, in Rajasthan, to start rolling out vehicles within the next 2-3 years after being put on hold indefinitely due to the global slowdown of 2008.

The company, which is present in India through a joint venture with the Siel Group, had partially opened the Tapukara plant in 2008 for the manufacture of components.

"Our first aim is to fully utilise the capacity of the Greater Noida facility and only after that we will consider starting assembly at Tapukara. I think we will be able to do that in the next 2-3 years," Honda Siel Cars India Director (Marketing), Mr Seki Inaba, told PTI.

The company's first facility at Greater Noida, set up for Rs450 crore in 1997, has an installed production capacity of one lakh units per annum and can produce up to 1.2 lakh units by improving the efficiencies of different verticals, he added.

HSCI had committed an investment of Rs1,000 crore to set up the facility at Tapukara with an installed capacity of 60,000 units per annum. In September 2008, it had partially opened the plant to start stamping operations and produce few parts for domestic and export markets.

Last year, the company announced a further investment of Rs250 crore on the Tapukara facility to expand the power train unit, primarily to cater to its upcoming small car 'Brio'. It currently rolls out engine and transmission components such as cylinder heads and cylinder blocks.

Earlier, in 2010, Honda Siel Cars had stated that it was likely to start car assembly operations at Tapukara from 2012. When asked about sales expectations for this year, Mr Inaba said: "We have suffered this year due to the tsunami in Japan and had to cut our production by half for several months. Still we are expecting to cross the last year's numbers." HSCI sold 59,463 units during 2010-11 against 61,815 units in the previous fiscal. The company has now geared up to launch its much-awaited small car 'Brio'. The car will hit the roads next month and will be priced below Rs5 lakh.

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Elder Pharma to launch 12 products by March-end

Elder Pharmaceuticals is also planning to spend up to Rs55 crore in the next two years for increasing its manpower

Drug firm Elder Pharmaceuticals will launch 12 new products this fiscal in the areas of gynaecology, pain management and nutraceuticals.

"All the products are in the mandate and prescription market and we are targeting gynaecology, pain management and nutraceuticals segments," he added.

The company is also planning to spend up to Rs55 crore in the next two years for increasing its manpower, mainly the sales force, updating its research and development facilities and for brand building exercises.

"We are looking at between Rs40-Rs55 crore investments for these exercises," Saxena said. The company had recently announced the plans to increase its sales and marketing force by 1,000 in the next two years. Saxena said Elder Pharmaceuticals is looking to expand in the over-the-counter (OTC) segment, in which it has almost negligible presence at present. "This [OTC] is the segment which we are looking at and probably is an area of growth for us as we go forward," he said.

He said the firm is also looking to enhance presence in the functional foods market, leveraging on UK-based NutraHealth Care, a company specialising in neutraceutical products, which it had acquired last year.

"The Indian [functional foods] market is estimated to be of Rs4,400 crore. Elder already has a range of products for women care and we are identifying opportunities where we can fulfil all daily nutritional and medical needs for women," Saxena said.

Elder Pharmaceuticals manufactures and markets prescription pharmaceutical brands, surgical and medical devices.

On Monday, Elder Pharma ended 0.15% up at Rs372 on the Bombay Stock Exchange, while the benchmark Sensex rose 1.24% to 16,341.70.

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