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Ductile Iron Pipe Joint Venture in India Holds Completion Ceremony From Value One, Summer 2009 No. 25

Export Destinations to Include Middle East and Southeast Asia

An external view of TMKPL's plant

Tata Metaliks Kubota Pipes Limited (TMKPL), a ductile iron pipe manufacturer jointly established by Tata Metaliks Limited, Kubota Corporation, and Metal One, recently finished building its plant and held a completion ceremony on March 7. Tata Metaliks is a subsidiary of Tata Steel Limited, a core organization of the Indian industrial giant Tata Group.

The ceremony was attended by B Muthuraman, managing director of Tata Steel; H M Nerurkar and Harsh K Jha, chairman and managing director, respectively, of Tata Metaliks; Daisuke Hatakake and Yasuo Masumoto, chairman and president & CEO, respectively, of Kubota; Fujio Samukawa, Japanese consul general in Kolkata; and Hiromi Fujikawa, executive officer of Metal One, all of whom congratulated the company on the completion of the plant.

Having built this plant in Kharagpur, approximately 130 km west of Kolkata, TMKPL plans to manufacture and sell ductile iron pipes for use in urban water distribution networks, for which an increasing demand is expected in India. The capital stakes of Tata Metaliks, Kubota, and Metal One in the joint venture are 51%, 44%, and 5%, respectively. The plant's equipment includes centrifugal metal mold casting machines (two units of 80–400 mm and one of 400–800 mm in nominal diameter), an annealing furnace, and a coating line. The plant has an annual production capacity of 110,000 tonnes but has sufficient space to expand its shed to accommodate an annual capacity of up to 200,000 tonnes in anticipation of much higher demand in the future.

With current domestic demand for ductile iron pipes in India at 400,000 to 600,000 tonnes and domestic production capacity at 500,000 tonnes, supply and demand is in an approximate state of equilibrium. However, the progress of infrastructure development in the country is predicted to boost the market size to 1 million tonnes. Starting with 60,000 tonnes in the initial year, the new company plans to increase its annual sales to 110,000 tonnes by its third year in operation with a view to keeping abreast of the expanding market. As for the external trade aspect, for which Metal One is counted on to perform its particular function, exportation is planned to start in the autumn of this year with an export ratio of about 20% of output, mainly destined for the Middle East and Southeast Asia.

(Energy Project International Business Department)

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