Our Bureau

Chennai, March 30

TAFE-Power Source, a division of Tractors and Farm Equipment Ltd, has signed an agreement with B.B. Battery Company Ltd of China to source a range of valve regulated lead acid (VRLA) batteries.

Under the agreement, TAFE Power Source hopes to expand its VRLA battery sales not only in India, but also in Bhutan, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh. It would also sell to the Pakistani market as and when opportunities arise, said Ms Jayshree Venkatraman, Head of TAFE-Power Source.

Initially, TAFE-Power Source will get both finished and semi-knocked down kits of VRLA batteries from the Chinese company. These will be assembled at its plant near Chennai.

The batteries would be marketed under the AMCO-Best brand name, a press release issued by TAFE-Power Source said. Ms Venkatraman told Business Line that the VRLA battery market is estimated at Rs 700 crore and TAFE-Power Source hopes to get about 15 per cent of this market by 2007-08. VRLA batteries have applications in various sectors, including telecommunications and defence.

Ms Venkatraman added that VRLA battery sales should boost TAFE-Power Source's turnover by at least 25 per cent. The turnover is now Rs 120 crore.

B.B. Battery Company Ltd is a large global player in the VRLA battery market and has facilities in Hong Kong and mainland China.

Asked about the nature of the tie-up, which she signed on Wednesday with Ms Maggy Lim, chief of B.B. Battery Company, Ms Venkatraman said in the first year, it would be a direct purchase from the Chinese company and from the second year, there would be a technical tie-up for TAFE-Power Source to manufacture the entire range of batteries.

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated March 31, 2005)
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