TNPL not to demerge cement and IT park projects

By Venkatachari Jagannathan | 01 Sep 2007

1

Chennai: The board of directors of Rs854.84crore turnover Tamil Nadu Newsprint and Papers Limited (TNPL) has categorically said the company has no plans to have an independent subsidiary to promote IT park and cement plant. (See: Tamil Nadu Newsprint and Papers Limited cements its diversification plans)

At the company''s 27th annual general meeting held here on Friday, shareholders demanded the company''s proposed IT park project be executed under a different company so that its valuations go up and not get bogged down by those of TNPL.

The shareholders are sore at TNPL''s scrip hovering around the Rs100 mark for quite some time when the book value per share is around Rs80. "At the bourses the stock does not reflect the real value of the company," complained a shareholder.

Responding to shareholder''s queries A Velliangiri, director (finance) said, the management is considering various options like build-own-operate-transfer or build-lease-operate-transfer model for the IT park project.

Later speaking to domain-b, V Murthy, managing director said, the logic for TNPL getting into cement manufacturing was to use its waste profitably. The paper plant generates around 70,000 tonne per annum (tpa) of lime sludge, which was sold to other cement plants at a price that ranges from Rs30 per tonne to Rs280 per tonne.

"With the cement sector booming, the realisations are better. But sun-drying the lime sludge and storing the fly ash creates environmental issues for the surrounding villages and hence we decided to go for a cement plant."

For the IT park project, TNPL is awaiting the feasibility report from Cushman and Weikfield, the real estate project consultant, in view of the likelihood of Chennai ending up with surplus office infrastructure for the IT sector.


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