G.K. Nair

Kochi, Jan 3

THE Kerala-based Kerala Minerals and Metals Ltd (KMML), the country's only unit that manufactures titanium dioxide pigment rutile grade, has recorded an all-time high production and sales turnover during April-December 2005.

The production has increased to 25,400 tonnes during the period against 22,000 tonnes in the corresponding period last year. The sales turnover went up by Rs 16 crore to Rs 227 crore compared to Rs 211 crore earlier.

"Given this trend, the total production would come to 35,000 tonnes while the turnover would cross the target of Rs 315 crore," Mr K.P. Rajendran, Managing Director, told

Business Line

.

The company has achieved this level of production despite the post-tsunami problems still prevailing in the mining areas, he added.

KMML will restrict exports this fiscal to last year's level of 12,000 tonnes in order to cater to the demand of the domestic market. "There is great demand from overseas, but with our existing capacity we are not able to meet it."

For the main customers from the US, China, South Korea, Australia, and West Asia, the product is priced in dollars while for those in Germany, Italy, Turkey, and Spain it is in euros; for the UK it is in pounds.

The current export price is $1,850 a tonne against $1,300 in 2002, which is competitive, he said.

Expansion:

In view of the growing demand, the company is expanding its capacity to 60,000 tonnes by August 2006 from 40,000 tonnes currently.

"We are determined to achieve this plant capacity on schedule in our effort to become a truly global player, on par with the world's top producers."

He also said that the company has ISO certifications 9001, 14001, and 18001 and hence its product is acceptable to buyers overseas and its quality matches with that of the world's top producers.

According to Mr Rajendran, it is for the first time in the public sector that the installed capacity has nearly doubled without a huge capital outlay from any external source, along with continuous profit generation and payment of 20 per cent dividend to the State Government continuously for two years now even during the expansion period.

The initial investment in 1985 for the 22,000 tonnes capacity plant was Rs 143.66 crore, including a capital outlay of Rs 30.93 crore.

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated January 4, 2006)
XThese are links to The Hindu Business Line suggested by Outbrain, which may or may not be relevant to the other content on this page. You can read Outbrain's privacy and cookie policy here.