Samsung commissions $75 million refrigerator plant near Chennai

South Korean consumer electronics and domestic appliances giant Samsung, which commissioned a $75-million refrigerator plant near Chennai today, plans to make India its production hub for South Asia and the Middle East.

Announcing commencement of Samsung's second refrigerator plant in India, J S Shin, president and CEO (South West Asia), told reporters, ''All our future expansions will be at our Chennai plant. We will invest Rs350 crore in the Chennai plant and five years later, India may be the production hub for Middle East and other neighbouring markets.''

The South Korean major has an 80-acre production facility at Sriperumbudur near Chennai, which churns out flat panel TVs, front-loading washing machines, LCD monitors and split air-conditioners.

The company has invested over $100 million in the plant over the last three years. The new refrigerator plant, with a 1.2 million-units annual capacity, will take Samsung's total refrigerators capacity in India to 2.6 million. It's first refrigerator unit is at Noida near Delhi.

According to Ravinder Zutshi, deputy managing director, Samsung India, refrigerators account for $500 million in revenues in the country. Samsung India's revenues are expected to climb to $3.5 billion this year, up from $2.2 billion last year. Global revenues for the South Korean giant add up to over $116 billion.