BOC India to pump in Rs. 10 bn for expansion

May 29th, 2009 - 11:03 pm ICT by IANS  

Kolkata, May 29 (IANS) Industrial gas maker BOC India Ltd, a subsidiary of the Linde Group, has no plans to delist its shares from the stock exchange and would inject Rs.10 billion over the next three years to fund its expansion efforts, senior company officials said here.
Addressing shareholders at the company’s 73rd Annual General meeting, chairman Susim Mukul Datta said following the preferential allotment of 36.2 million equity shares to the BOC Group in January last year and another 13.209402 million shares acquired by the group last June, its shareholding in the company has increased to 89.48 percent.

“But we have no plans to buy back shares. We don’t intend to de-list,” Datta said.

He said the company, though debt free now, wanted to build a reasonable debt-equity ration to fund its capital expenses.

Later, managing director Srikumar Menon told media persons that the company planned a total investment of Rs.10 billion over the next three years to fund its expansion drive.

Between Rs.4.5 billion to Rs.5 billion will be spent in setting up a new air separation plant that will supply oxygen, nitrogen and argon to the Rourkela Steel Plant of the Steel Authority of India Limited (SAIL), apart from other clients in the region.

“Bulk of the remaining money will be spent in constructing another plant,” Menon said, but refused to disclose the location or the customer’s name.

Menon said the company’s under-construction Rs. 1.5 billion merchant air separation plant in Uttarakhand’s Selaqui, with a total capacity of 250 tonnes per day, will be commissioned a year from now. BOC hopes to generate a Rs.1 billion revenue from the unit.

He said the company would end up 2009-10 with a higher growth figure than the 15 percent it achieved in 2008-09.

Datta said the commissioning of the 1,800 tonnes per day air separation unit at Karnataka’s Bellary has got delayed as its customer JSW Steel Works’ blast furnace was not ready in time.

The company is also setting up infrastructure for manufacturing, storing and pipeline distribution of high value electronic gases in a Special Economic Zone in Andhra Pradesh to customers like Mosar Baer in the solar photovoltaic business.

“We have taken 4 acres of land on lease. We will also import chemical for our customers there,” Menon said.

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