Chinese fibreglass maker Jushi to start building India plant after 3-year delay; to invest ₹1,650 cr

Suresh P Iyengar Mumbai | Updated on December 18, 2018

Jushi India Fibreglass, part of China’s Jushi Group, plans to break ground next month to set up a fibreglass manufacturing plant at Talegaon in Maharashtra at an investment $246 million (about ₹1,650 crore).

The construction of the plant, which will have a production capacity of 1 lakh tonnes and employ about 600 engineers, is expected to be completed in 15 months.

Jushi plans to invest another $250 million in the second phase in five years.

The company had signed a memorandum of understanding with the Maharashtra government in 2015 for the project and was assigned various sops under the ‘ultra mega project’ scheme, as part of the Make in India initiative.

However, the 58 acres of land assigned to Jushi was full of ‘encumbrances’, and it took almost three years for the company to acquire a clear title on land besides getting various approvals.

S Ramachandran, Director, Jushi India Fibreglass, told BusinessLine the group considered various countries for setting up the project. The Indian arm of the Jushi group ‘snatched’ the project which had been heading to Malaysia.

The ample availability of raw material — such as silica, limestone and china clay — in Rajasthan and Gujarat tilted the scale in India’s favour, he added.

Little ease

However, given the group’s experience, it can be stated that ‘ease of doing business’ in India remains only on paper, said Ramachandran.

It took almost three years for the group to get all the approvals for a project that would not only produce products that can substitute imports but also has large scope for exports, he added.

Of the 1 lakh tonne planned fibreglass production, Jushi will export about 30,000 tonnes. India imports about 1,10,000 tonnes of fibreglass annually to meet the demand of 1,70,000-1,80,000 tonnes.

The demand for fibreglass is growing at a CAGR of 6-8 per cent with strong demand from optic fibre cable companies and automobile component makers besides the wind energy and power sectors.

The Jushi Group has four production bases with three in China and one in Egypt. It has trading subsidiaries in South Africa, South Korea, Italy, Spain, France, Canada, India, Singapore, Japan, the US and Hong Kong. It employs about 8,000 people across the globe.

Published on December 18, 2018

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