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Mangalore, Dec. 15

GERMAN automobile manufacturer Volkswagen, which is looking for a suitable location to set up its unit in the country, is examining some sites in Karnataka. In this regard, a Volkswagen team is likely to visit Mangalore during the week.

Addressing members of the Kanara Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) here on Tuesday, Mr Mohammed Sanaulla, Karnataka Commissioner of Industrial Development, said that the team had visited Mysore and Hassan in the State. It is likely to visit Mangalore on Friday, accompanied by top officials from the Karnataka Government. Industry sources said that the sites likely to be visited by the team include Ganjimath and Konaje areas. The company wants around 400 acres for its Indian unit. The company's proposed investment is said to be about Rs 2,000 crore.

It may be mentioned here that Tamil Nadu is also making efforts to attract Volkswagen to that State.

Mangalore has good infrastructure in terms of road, rail and air connectivity, and seaport. However, the Government would need to allocate suitable land if the automobile major decides to set up its unit here.

Already the Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC), through its subsidiary Mangalore Refinery and Petrochemicals Ltd (MRPL), has promised Rs 21,000-crore investments in the petrochemical projects of the proposed coastal special economic zone in Mangalore.

Mr A. Srinivasa Rao, KCCI President, said ONGC's plans include the establishment of a naphtha-cracker unit. The by-products can be used in the manufacture of automobile spare parts. This may help the German automobile major, if it decides to set up its unit in Mangalore, he added.

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated December 16, 2005)
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