Chennai: French float glass maker Saint-Gobain has invested Rs 500 crore in a new float glass facility and an integrated window line in its World Glass Campus at Sriperumbudur, west of Chennai. The two new facilities, which will provide employment to 200 people, will take the cumulative investments in the World Glass Complex to Rs 3,750 crore and continues to be the single largest investment destination for the group.
Chief minister M K Stalin inaugurated the new production lines on Wednesday. State minister for MSMEs T M Anbarasan and additional chief secretary of Tamil Nadu for Industries S Krishnan were present, besides Benoit Bazin, CEO, Compagnie de Saint-Gobain and B Santhanam, CEO, Saint- Gobain Asia Pacific and India region among others.
While Saint-Gobain’s first float glass plant was inaugurated in the year 2000, the plant now has an extended production capacity of 130% and with a “revolutionary design” that will reduce the unit energy consumption by 20%. This plant will meet the emerging needs of the architectural, automotive (including electric vehicles) and solar applications, the company said in a statement. On the other, the integrated windows line is Asia’s largest fully integrated facility. Spread over 10,000 sq m, it will have an annual capacity of one lakh windows by end of 2022. The integrated windows line is aligned with Tamil Nadu government’s thrust on housing, the statement said.
“Our experience in India has been extremely good and have sustained high growth rates for a long period. We have leadership positions in building materials (glass and glass solutions, gypsum, mortars, insulation and construction chemicals). We are the number one company in light and sustainable construction in India,” said Benoit Bazin. “With the latest investments, the World Glass Complex continues to be a shining example of the faith that we have in India and in the state of Tamil Nadu,” he said.
“Tamil Nadu is the most urbanized state in India today focusing on housing, construction and infrastructure. This opens up huge opportunities for us as we are a leader in light and sustainable construction and are well placed to provide building solutions that combine performance and sustainability. With total investments of close to Rs 4,700 crore in Tamil Nadu across 15 plants in four locations, we are well poised to support the government’s growth ambition,” said B Santhanam.
“Today, we have 50% of India’s float glass manufacturing facility, with 60% of our investments in Tamil Nadu. The World Glass Complex is also an export house that accounts for over 90% of value added flat glass exports from India,” said A R Unnikrishnan, managing director, Saint-Gobain India Private Limited – Glass business.