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Thursday, Mar 11, 2004

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Cummins signs agreement with Westport for tech

Our Bureau

Pune , March 10

POWER solutions provider Cummins India Ltd (CIL) has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Cummins Westport Inc (CWI) as a prelude to the signing of a comprehensive licence and supply agreement which will enable the former to manufacture B-series engines in India.

Talking top presspersons, Mr Anant Talaulicar, Managing Director, said CWI will licence its lean burn spark ignition technology and supply gas-specific components for the B Gas International engine which will be manufactured in India at Daman by 2005.

The new engine will cater to the growing market for natural gas vehicles in India and also allow the company to export 25 per cent of its production to export markets other than US and China, he said.

"The MoU also envisages leveraging our individual strengths for joint development of clean technology products in the future," he added.

Cummins has been a major player in the natural gas vehicles market in India and the new venture will provide it with the opportunity to extend its product portfolio to cater to the growing demand for higher horse power and performance requirements of the transit bus markets in India.

The company currently has an installed base of 4,000 buses in New Delhi where a Supreme Court order makes it mandatory for buses to be fuelled by CNG and the new venture will allow it to complement the base with more powerful, fuel-efficient and low emission B-series engines in the 150-, 195- and 230-hp ranges.

"India meets all the key criteria we use to assess potential markets like availability of competitively priced natural gas, a developing infrastructure for it, cities with serious air quality issues and an indigenous bus OEM community along with a strong Cummins manufacturing and distribution presence," Mr Hugh Foden, President, Cummins Westport Inc, said.

"While the initial plan is to establish the product in the domestic market where there is a growing demand for such products, we also envisage it being exported from India to markets like Russia, several countries in the Middle East and Latin America," he said.

The two companies are also, meanwhile, examining the viability of commencing distribution of CWI's LPG engines into India based on a growing demand for the product in markets such as Kolkata and Chennai.

"At the moment we don't see this as a sustainable manufacturing option," Mr Talaulicar said.

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