Special Correspondent

To invest Rs. 30 crore in Phase-II

CHENNAI: The Rs. 400-crore turnover Nelcast, maker of ductile iron castings, is going in for a further expansion in capacity. The Rs. 30-crore Phase-II expansion plan would drive the capacity up to 1.50 lakh tonnes a year from 1.26 lakh tonnes. The Phase-II expansion would be complete by the last quarter of 2008-09.

The company, it may be recalled, had invested Rs. 30 crore to increase the capacity from 1.02 lakh tonnes to 1.26 lakh tonnes. The first phase of the expansion went on stream in September last year.

Addressing a press conference here on Monday, J. Joseph, Managing Director, said Phase-II of the expansion would be funded out of the money raised through a public issue. Stating that “it (casting) is the most difficult industry,” he said Nelcast was also simultaneously engaged in moving its products up the value chain by machining its castings. Nelcast, he said, was hoping to machine 20 per cent of its castings output in 2009 and raise its machining capacity every year to reach a level of 30 per cent by 2010. Nelcast was hoping to scale a turnover of Rs. 600 crore in 2008-09. Exports stood at Rs. 52 crore in 2007-08. This would go up to Rs. 100 crore in the current financial year, Mr. Joseph said.

Nelcast, he said, supplied its products to the commercial vehicle and tractor industries.