Volzhsky Abrasive Works, a subsidiary of Murugappa Group company Carborundum Universal Limited (CUMI), has entered into a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Administration of the Volgograd Region, Russia, for setting up a 1 lakh tonne SiC fusion plant, at an investment of about $50 million.
''India and Volgograd share a legendary relationship which dates back to 1967, an agreement between government of Madras and Volgograd marked the initiation of series of commerce exchanges. These exchanges can now be further augmented with exploring modes of cooperation in the culture, education and trade areas,'' said Sizov YI, first deputy governor of Volgograd Region.
The proposed plant will use environmentally friendly fusion technology and will also be highly energy efficient. Volgograd region would support this project by way of arranging power supply, raw material supply and suitable land. The project, which is expected to be implemented in phases, would provide direct and indirect employment of over 500 people in the region.
''Volgograd region reflects dynamism and an optimistic attitude towards private investments. We have received tremendous support from the regional administration following our investment in Volzhsky Abrasive works in Volgograd. We view it as a strategic investment as the region provides us a competitive edge. We are willing to offer possible assistance to Indian enterprises which are willing to invest in the region,'' said MM Murugappan, chairman, Carborandum Universal Ltd.
Carborundum acquired Volzhsky Abrasive Works, Volgograd in September last year. CUMI operates 18 plants in India and 6 overseas. With this addition, CUMI would become one of the largest producers of silicon carbide and bonded abrasives in the world. CUMI has its major manufacturing units in India, Russia, China and South Africa and has operations in nine countries, including Australia, Canada, Middle East, the US and Thailand.
Headquartered in Chennai, the Rs9,582 crore ($2.4 billion) Murugappa Group has interests in diverse areas of business, including engineering, abrasives, finance, general insurance, cycles, sugar, farm inputs, fertilizers, plantations, bio-products and nutraceuticals.
The group operates 29 manufacturing facilities spread across 13 states in India and employs over 32,000 people.
Volgograd has been actively considering Indian private sector's investments in the region. Reflecting trade optimism in the region, a business delegation from Volgograd has been carried to New Delhi.