Chennai: Tamil Nadu Chief Minister K. Palaniswami on Wednesday said a petrochemical plant in the state would not only help domestic tyre companies to locally source synthetic rubber but also create jobs.
Inaugurating the CEAT Ltd’s Tyre plant near here, Palaniswami said presently tyre companies import synthetic rubber, a crucial raw material.
He said a petrochemical project in the state would enable the tyre makers to source the raw material locally and the project would generate jobs.
The Tamil Nadu government has signed Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Haldia Petrochemicals Ltd in September 2019 for setting up its units in Cuddalore district with an investment of Rs 50,000 crore.
The state has also signed an MoU with Al Kharafi for an oil refinery in Thoothukudi involving an outlay of Rs 49,000 crore.
According to Palaniswami, CEAT now joins other tyre makers like MRF Ltd, Apollo Tyres, JK Tyres and Michellin Tyres by setting up a tyre factory in the state.
“From two wheeler tyres to tyres for fighter aircrafts, all are made in Tamil Nadu,” Palaniswami said.
He said 40 per cent of India’s tyre production is located in the state.
Palaniswami also said he has requested CEAT Managing Director Anant Goenka to set up a research and development centre in Tamil Nadu.
Goenka told reporters later that the new plant will roll out about 28,000 passenger car tyres per day when it starts working at full capacity in two years’ time and also make radial tyres for two-wheelers.
He said the company will also be shipping out tyres to its global markets from its new plant.
Queried about setting up a research and development centre in Tamil Nadu, Goenka said there is no such plan in the near future as the company has such centres in Gujarat and Germany.
He said the company plans to invest Rs 4,000 crore in the plant in phases, while a sum of Rs 1,400 crore has gone into it so far.
Goenka said 40 per cent of the plant workforce will be women.
According to him, there is enough space at the plant site for further expansion and to roll out tyres for commercial vehicles.
Besides, all the plants are working in full capacity and the company has not faced any downturn, though the auto sector as a whole is experiencing a slowdown in sales.
On the issue of funding the new plant, an official said two third is from internal accrual and the balance from debt.