Tata Metaliks Ltd, India's largest pig-iron manufacturer, is foraying into the foundry business and also considering an integrated steel plant at a later stage, although it is not talking figures as yet.
Tata Metaliks chairman HM Nerukar said the company is looking at setting up a medium-size casting facility in eastern India or western India with aims to supply auto components manufacturers.
"There are not many good organised players in the foundry business and entering into it would give Tata Metaliks an added advantage," Nerukar told reporters after the company's 18th annual general meeting.
The company may also set up an integrated steel plant, although both the castings and the integrated steel projects are at the drawing board stage.
Harsh K Jha, managing director, said: "In 5-6 months we will configure the casting project and decide over the size and investment."
"Kharagpur will be our first choice in setting up the casting project and a site near our
Redi plant at the Sindhudurg district in Maharashtra will be our second choice," Jha said.Tata Metaliks acquired the Redi plant in the last quarter of the 2005-06 fiscal.
Jha did not give any specific answer when asked whether it would set up an integrated steel plant in West Bengal or acquire one.
"Ask WBDIC about the land," he said cryptically, referring to West Bengal Industrial Development Corp.
"We have learnt that WBIDC has bought 202 acres for us but that is not a contiguous stretch," Jha said.
Jha would not comment on the size of the steel plant or the land requirement.
On Wednesday, the board approved an investment of Rs 75 crore for setting up a sinter plant in Kharagpur.
He said that the Rs 150-crore ductile iron pipe plant in Kharagpur, Tata Metaliks
Kubota pipes Ltd, which is a joint venture company with Kubota Corp and Metal One of Japan, would be ready by the last quarter of 2008-09 with a manufacturing capacity of 110,000 tonne per annum.
Tata Metaliks reported a profit after tax of Rs 20.23 crore on sales of Rs 311 crore for quarter to March 31, 2008, against a PAT of Rs 15.36 crore on sales of Rs 238 crore in the same quarter of the previous year.
The company is aiming for a 15-20% revenue growth during the current fiscal.