Business Line 25/9/10
With its doubling of capacity nearing completion, Tinplate Company of India Ltd’s integration with Corus, UK, is set to come closer.
Corus is a major producer of tinplate (1.25 million tonnes annually) in Europe.
Tata Steel holds more than 45 per cent stake in Tinplate.
“The integration will be at various levels, such as application engineering, product development and sharing of best operational and management practices,” Mr Koushik Chatterjee, Chairman of Tinplate, told newspersons at the end of the company’s annual general meeting here on Friday.
“A beginning has already been made and a joint team is working on it.”
Tinplate is used mainly for packaging and Corus, as it was pointed out, was much ahead in product development.
“Our focus will be value-added products with accent on light weight and durability,” Mr Chatterjee said, pointing out that Tinplate would soon initiate discussions with Hindustan Lever and major tea companies in view of the projected growth in the demand for packaged foods.
“The solutions centre in Jamshedpur, set up a little more than a year ago, is also working in this regard.”
Tata Steel’s holding
In reply to a question, he indicated that the Tata Steel’s holding in Tinplate would rise to 60 per cent from April next year following the conversion of fully convertible debentures. “Tinplate will then become a subsidiary of Tata Steel,” he said.
The full benefit of the company’s expansion plan due for completion in the middle of next year would be seen from the 2011-12 fiscal, the Chairman said.
“On completion, the company will become one of the largest self sufficient tinplate producing facilities across South East Asia and West Asia,” he said.
The bulk of the Rs 627-crore expansion programme currently in progress was being financed by equity and internal generation.
“We’ve so far spent nearly Rs 400 crore,” he said pointing out that every attempt was being made keep debt component low. Earlier debt was three times the equity, and now the ratio has been brought down to less than 0.5.
“We’ve tied up Rs 250 crore of loan, but will draw upon it depending on the situation,” he added.