Anil Ambani group to make major foray into cement, airports

July 21st, 2009 - 6:42 pm ICT by IANS  

Mumbai, July 21 (IANS) Reliance Infrastructure has firmed up plans for a major foray into cement production and expansion of airports across the country, apart from bidding actively for major highways projects, company chairman Anil Ambani said Tuesday.
Addressing the company’s annual general meeting here, Ambani said a pact was signed last week with the Maharashtra Government for a five-million-tonne cement unit in Yavatmal district at investment of Rs.2,250 crore ($450 million).

“We have plans to set up cement plants with an aggregate capacity of 20 million tonnes per annum at a cost of nearly Rs.10,000 crore ($2 billion) over the next five years. This will make us a top five cement player in the country,” he said.

Making some big-ticket announcements in his speech, Ambani said the group has emerged as the highest bidder for the privatisation of all five regional airports in Maharashtra at Nanded, Latur, Yavatmal, Baramati and Osmanabad.

“The government has set a target of modernising 35 non-metro airports in the country. We are watching the developments in this sector closely, and keenly pursue the upcoming projects for international airports at Navi Mumbai, Pune and Goa.”

Ambani said he was also beginning to realign the group’s interests in the realty industry, apart from taking extra care to review the projects and keep a check on the funding requirements for the business.

“The last few months have seen some signs of revival in the industry, particularly in specialised real estate, which is our prime focus and where we are developing over 30 million square feet of space,” he said.

“We hope to build on this revival as it gathers momentum in the course of the year.”

Development of highways was another area specifically mentioned by the chairman, who said the group was on track in implementing two government projects in this area and another four to make to build four-lane roads in Tamil Nadu.

Contracts were also won contracts in recent weeks for similar projects between Gurgaon and Faridabad, Ballabhgarh and Sohna corridor, and Jaipur and Sikar, as also an eastern ring road in the National Capital Region, he said.

“We believe that we will play a pivotal role by actively participating in the upcoming highway projects, and have a total road project portfolio of over Rs.20,000 crore ($4 billion) by 2012-13.”

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