HIL managing director Abhaya Shankar told Business Standard that the company was in the process of adding another asbestos sheets production line at its Satharia plant in Uttar Pradesh involving an investment of Rs 50 crore.
“The new production line will have a capacity of 100,000 tonnes per annum (tpa) taking our total installed capacity to 1 million tpa. Following this, we will be one of the largest producers of asbestos cement sheets in the world,” he said.
HIL is currently a leader in asbestos sheets production in the country with a share of 21 per cent in the Rs 3,000-crore market. In 2009-10, its turnover and net profit stood at Rs 756 crore and Rs 89.7 crore respectively.
“Our brand Charminar, established over six decades, continues to enjoy premium brand equity in the market,” Shankar said, adding the company’s target was to cross a turnover of Rs 1,000 crore three years down the line.
Besides expanding the capacity of Satharia plant, the company is looking at setting up a manufacturing facility at a cost of Rs 50 crore in Bihar. The proposal is expected to be finalised shortly.
At present, HIL has 12 manufacturing plants spread across the states of Andhra Pradesh, Haryana, Jharkhand, Kerala, UP, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Orissa and Tamil Nadu. The company has also leased out a sheets manufacturing unit in Punjab.
Shankar said the company was constantly exploring the option of enhancing the capacity at its existing locations and setting up new plants to keep pace with the growing demand for its products.
According to Shankar, HIL has set up an autoclaved aerated concrete (AAC) blocks production unit at Golan near Surat in Gujarat as the company is now focusing on becoming a manufacturer of green building products. The Rs 80-crore, two million cubic metre capacity unit commenced commercial production in August 2010 and is expected to achieve 75 per cent capacity utilisation by next year.
Made of fly ash and cement, the AAC blocks are stated to be light weight and are becoming the choice of the new generation builders.
Stating that green building products today account for 15 per cent of the company’s turnover, Shankar said HIL’s endeavour was to increase this share to 35 per cent in three years.
Shankar emphasised that the company going in for green building products was not linked to the furore being made by some voluntary organisations about the hazardous effects of asbestos. In this context, he cited a Supreme Court order, issued on January 21, 2011, that refused the plea of a petitioner for banning all uses of asbestos.