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· 30 minutes drive from Tambaram and Vandaloor.
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BUSINESS » COMPANIES
CHENNAI, April 18, 2012
Daimler's Chennai facility on stream
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Daimler started operations at its commercial vehicles plant at Oragadam near Chennai on Wednesday. Photo: V. Ganesan
German automobile major Daimler will start rolling out trucks from its Oragadam plant near here from September. It has committed an investment of Rs.4,400 crore in this facility.
Announcing that the plant has become operational from Wednesday, Daimler India Commercial Vehicles Pvt. Ltd. Managing Director Marc Llistosella said the plan was to start commercial production of 25-tonne trucks and then move into 31-tonne. Seventeen models of Bharat Benz trucks were to be launched in 18 months from September, he said.
In a move to make the 400-acre Oragadam facility as its India hub for truck manufacturing, Daimler has decided to shift the production of the Actros range heavy vehicles from Pune. The Actros range trucks are specialised and used in the mining segment. The process had begun and is expected to be completed by August-September, he said.
Mr. Llistosella was addressing presspersons after the inauguration of the plant by Chief Minister Jayalalithaa.
At the function, he said the company planned to start exports from Oragadam from 2013. Daimler was targeting 90 per cent localisation of the truck value from India by 2015 and of this 50 per cent would be from Tamil Nadu.
To a query on exports, Andreas Renschler, Head of Daimler Trucks and Buses, and Member of the Board of Management of Daimler AG, said the first priority was catering to the domestic market. The company may look at exports to Africa, the Far East and the Middle East later.
A press release, issued on the occasion, said that the annual production capability of the plant is 36,000 units, which could be scaled up to 72,000 units.
Chairman of the Board of Management of Daimler AG and Head of Mercedes-Benz Cars Dieter Zetsche said India was more than an emerging market. A growing economy like India meant growing mobility. The Oragadam plant — one of the three Daimler plants worldwide to combine truck and engine production — employed 1,400 people and the number, according to him, would increase.
Keywords: Daimler plant, commercial vehicles plant, Chief Minister Jayalalithaa, Bharat Benz
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Plans afoot to rail link Sriperumbudur with Oragadam
T.E. RAJA SIMHAN
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CHENNAI, MARCH 14:
A rail connection to the industrial belts of Sriperumbudur and Oragadam could become a reality. This project has been a long-pending demand of thousands of units, including car manufacturers, located in the two regions located west of Chennai.
The Railway Ministry had forwarded a proposal for a rail link from Avadi to Guduvancheri via Sriperumbudur and Oragadam to the Planning Commission for appraisal. This is one of the 85 proposals sent to the Planning Commission.
With the rail link, the two hubs will be linked to two major lines – the Chennai-Jolarpet-Katpadi line and the Chennai-Gudur line – that connect to other parts of the country.
The Southern Railway too has been pushing for the project, which has good business potential from freight loading in the long run.
An official in Southern Railway said that the 55-km rail link could cost Rs 810 crore. The Railway Ministry had sought 50 per cent of funds from the Tamil Nadu Government for the project. “Negotiations are still going on,” he said on conditions of anonymity.
While Hyundai's plant is located in Sriperumbudur, Nissan's plant is in Oragadam and Ford in Maraimalai Nagar near Guduvancheri. Hyundai has been using the Tiruvallur station, which is located about 20 km from the plant, to send its cars by rail to other parts of the country.
Mr. R. Sethuraman, Senior Vice-President, Finance and Corporate Affairs, Hyundai Motors Ltd, said, “We hope that the Planning Commission takes a positive view and proposal takes shape.” The industry has been asking for railway connectivity between these areas due to increased industrial activity. Several multinationals have set up base for global manufacturing and a move like this will help the development of the entire region, he said.
Nissan and Ford transport their cars by road to Ennore and Chennai ports respectively for exports to various countries.
According to Mr Vidyashankar Krishnan, Managing Director, MM Forgings, an auto component manufacturer, the link will ‘greatly' help in mobility of employees into the Oragadam belt, which has around 400 industrial units.
The link can easily benefit around one lakh people who mainly come in from the Tambaram area. The link will encourage people to reside over a wider belt and this, in turn, will put less pressure on rents. However, it may not help address attrition and labour shortage which is endemic to the Oragadam region, he said.
Once completed, the line will help manufacturing units in Sriperumbudur and Oragadam to transport their goods to Chennai port or to other parts of the country. Currently, companies in the region depend on the National Highway 4, which connects Chennai with Bangalore, to transport raw materials and finished products.
The rail link has also been pushed forward keeping in mind the upcoming dry port at Sriperumbudur. The Chennai Port Trust is planning to set up the dry port at a cost of Rs 100 crore. For this, the Tamil Nadu Government has sanctioned 125 acres in Mappedu near Sriperumbudur Special Economic Zone.
Keywords: rail connection, Sriperumbudur, Oragadam,
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