Shanghai Hitachi Electricity Appliances Company, a joint venture company of China-based Shanghai Highly Group and Hitachi Appliances of Japan, will invest Rs 500 crore in the next two years in Gujarat to manufacture air-conditioning compressors and relevant refrigeration products to focus on India and West Asian markets.

The company has taken 40,000 square meters of land on lease at Changodar, an industrial area on the outskirts of Ahmedabad, for this facility. It will give employment to nearly 1,000 people, and also provide job work to many SMEs.

The venture was facilitated by the India China Economic and Cultural Council (ICEC), Gujarat, and has initiated procedure to register its India entity Highly Electrical Appliances India Private Ltd with the Registrar of Companies, Ahmedabad, said Shen Jian Fang, Chairman of the company, here on Wednesday.

The annual capacity of the plant would be two billion H/L series air-conditioner compressors once the plant becomes fully functional. The Phase I work will be completed by October 2013 and second and last phase is expected to finish at the end of 2014.

According to Fang, the plant would also generate indirect employment opportunities for 10,000 people that include local suppliers and their employees. He said that priority will be given to local workforce in direct employment as well as selection of vendors. The venture would initially assemble the air-conditioner compressors and then outsource certain parts and give job work to local vendors.

The joint venture was formed 20 years ago in 1993 with 75 per cent share of Shanghai Highly Group and 25 per cent stake of Hitachi. The company’s annual turnover is $1 billion. The company has three plants in China.

The joint venture was originally set up to cater the Chinese market only. It later started exporting to 30 countries, including India, the Gulf, Brazil, the Philippines and European countries. More than 8,000 people are working in different parts of the world for the joint venture, which is at present a Rs 6,400-crore company.

(This article was published on February 20, 2013)
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