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Japan's Aichi Steel collaborates with Punjab firm; to boost India's crude steel capacity

PTI | Chandigarh | Updated: 13-09-2019 20:09 IST | Created: 13-09-2019 20:09 IST
Japan's Aichi Steel collaborates with Punjab firm; to boost India's crude steel capacity

Japanese steel manufacturer Aichi Steel has collaborated with Ludhiana-based Vardhman Special Steel, a partnership that is expected to give a fillip to foreign investment and boost the country's crude steel capacity. Aichi Steel -- an affiliate of Japan's Toyota Motor Corporation -- would introduce cutting edge technology in the state through Vardhman besides improving quality of its products, reducing operational cost and bring process efficiencies. This collaboration will add another chapter of confidence and trust in the Punjab (India) and Japan relations, the company said.

Disclosing this here on Friday, an official spokesperson said that earlier to this development, deliberations between Chief Minister Amarinder Singh and Ambassador of Japan to India Kenji Hiramatsu were taken place thrice at New Delhi and Chandigarh regarding industrial and investment scenario in Punjab. He said that this partnership was aimed at achieving sustainable growth with 'make in Punjab' vision of the chief minister.

Pertinently, Vice Chairman and MD Vardhman Special Steels Sachit Jain accompanied by Japan's Ambassador in India Kenji Hiramatsu had apprised the chief minister about the agreement during pre-summit interaction with foreign missions by Singh in New Delhi last week. The chief minister had assured fulsome support and cooperation from the state government to further boost the steel and automotive sectors.

The spokesperson said that this partnership will also set a significant precedence for other players in the region to augment their product portfolio with similar technological collaboration with international companies. It will also give a fillip to FDI in India and will directly be in line with the National Steel Policy of achieving 300 MT of crude steel capacity by 2030, said the spokesperson.

Briefing about the partnership, Jain said that "one of the key objectives of this partnership is to develop special steel grades for automotive companies in India so as to help fill the gap of providing substitution of steel that is currently being imported. We plan to later export this special grade of steel to South Asia and Europe as well". President Aichi Company Takahiro Fujioka said, "This partnership will help Aichi Steel strengthen the foundation of its special steel business by improving quality and cost competitiveness on a global basis."

The spokesperson said that Vardhman Special Steels caters to diverse requirements of hot rolled bars for engineering, automotive, tractor, bearing and allied industries. Vardhman is also one of the most advanced manufacturing facilities in Punjab, which is located in Ludhiana with an annual production capacity of 1,80,000 tonnes/year (FY 2018) with sales figures for 2018 is Rs 11.8 billion.

The company, having more than 40 years in steel manufacturing, has clientele includes renowned names such as Toyota, Hero Moto Corp, Caterpillar, Hino Motors, Bosch etc. Pertinently, the Aichi will be taking over approximately 11.4 per cent stake in Vardhman Special Steels at a cost of Rs 50 crore.


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