Sukhoi keen on aircraft plant at Nagpur

September 26th, 2008 - 4:02 pm ICT by IANS  

Nagpur, Sep 26 (IANS) Russian plane maker Sukhoi and Malaysia-based SKS Ventures have offered to set up an aircraft manufacturing plant and a special economic zone for production of renewable energy equipment components, besides developing a new airport at Nagpur, it was announced here Friday. The two companies have shown interest in creating these facilities through their Indian partner Vavasi Group in the MIHAN (Multi-modal International Hub Airport at Nagpur) project being executed by Maharashtra Airport Development Company (MADC), New and Renewable Energy Minister Vilas Muttemwar told reporters here.

The proposals, which emerged out of the Vavasi group’s talks with Muttemwar on setting up a mammoth renewable energy SEZ in his Lok Sabha constituency, include a seemingly irresistible solution to the vexed problem of paying acceptable compensation to the project affected people in the MIHAN-SEZ area and rehabilitating them, he added.

“The group has initially sought 400 hectares land in the MIHAN-SEZ operational area to set up a mono-crystalline growing facility, a 2,000-megawatt mono-crystalline TV (photo-voltaic) module and a float-glass plant. It will later seek 3,000 hectares in the (nearby) Butibori industrial estate to create the world’s first renewable energy park,” the minister said.

“Once the SEZ gets fully operational, it would account for almost 50 percent of the current global production of renewable energy components,” Muttemwar said, adding that Vavasi has sought land in the existing MIHAN-SEZ to begin with because the proposed renewable energy SEZ will take time to get the mandatory clearances.

Simultaneously, Sukhoi would like to partner with the Vavasi group to set up an aircraft manufacturing plant in Nagpur, the minister said.

Sukhoi, which is likely to sign an MoU with the Maharashtra government Oct 10, expects its plant to initially manufacture about 25 to 50 civilian aircraft per year and step up its capacity to an annual production of 100 aircraft after four years.

Apart from meaning to invest euro 2 billion in the aircraft manufacturing plant, which would create 15,000 direct and 75,000 indirect jobs, Sukhoi is ready to spend whatever it takes to compensate those whose land would be acquired for the project, Muttemwar said.

SKS Ventures, which too is ready to share the compensation expenses with Sukhoi, also wants to set up a 2,000 MW captive power plant for the entire cluster of facilities they will create with an investment of euro 6 billion, the minister said.

The renewable energy SEZ will create an estimated 20,000 direct and 150,000 indirect jobs, Muttemwar said, adding that the two companies are willing to accommodate one suitable candidate per affected family in their facilities.

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