Germany-based GEA Group, one of the world's largest product and system providers for food and energy processes in the world, announced the launch of its third manufacturing facility in India at Pune after Bengaluru and Vadodara. The Pune plant has been set up with an investment of over Rs 100 crore on a built up area of 6,500 sq meters. "With revenues worth Euro 4.4 billion and a presence in over 50 countries with global production and R&D centres, the new facility is a testament to GEA Group's strategy to expand its worldwide presence," said Mik Hansen, Regional Director Asia Pacific, GEA PHE Systems at a press conference.
The Pune plant is a 100 per cent subsidiary of the GEA Group and will manufacture plate heat exchangers (PHEs) of all types to cater to the India and Asia Pacific markets. The plant is designed to cater to both assembly line production and batch-wise production and will have around 60 to 100 per cent localisation depending on the product. "The size of the plant is scalable almost up to 10,000 sq meters. As of now our installed capacity is to manufacture 300 PHEs per month with two shifts and this can easily be increased by another 30 per cent if we add another shift," informed Virendra Jhamb, Managing Director, GEA Ecoflex India, part of GEA PHE Systems.
Considering that the Indian market is the second largest of its kind in the Asia Pacific operations of GEA, the company will focus on functioning as a total solution provider from concept to commissioning instead of just producing and selling PHEs. "The Asia region accounts for 19 per cent of worldwide revenue and India is therefore a very important base for our products. It was essential to have a manufacturing plant here," Hansen said. The company aims to notch up a turnover of over Rs 350 crore by 2014. For 2010 its targeted turnover is Rs 175 crore, which, according to Jhamb, has almost been achieved. The company's existing clients include global players like L&T, Alsthom, Linde, BHEL, Renuka Sugars, Adani Power, Nestle, Praj Industries, and others.
Elaborating about its focused approach in India, Jhamb said that the dairy sector would be a prime area since India is the world's largest milk producer and there is a huge demand from the young generation for processed milk and milk-based products. "Milk production in India is likely to increase to 120 million tonnes per year with an investment of up to Rs 25,000 crore. Our presence in this sector is with the pasteurisation plants," Jhamb said. Vegetable oil will be another sector that GEA Ecoflex India will pay close attention to since India accounts for 9 per cent of the world's oil seed production and there exists a 40 per cent gap between production and demand.
"Sugar is also going to be a focus area because India is the second largest producer of sugar in the world and we have developed a plate evaporation system that can increase efficiency and profitability to the highest level. One such system has been installed at Jai Mahesh in Maharashtra and it has emerged as one of the most profitable companies in the state," Hansen said. Power and fertilisers are going to be two other areas that the company will target for their PHEs. "Commanding up to 36 per cent market share, GEA is in an extremely comfortable position in India and we are now going to look at tapping new areas, as for example refrigeration," Hansen said.
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