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Kobelco to build cranes in India

Kobelco Cranes has announced plans to invest around 600 million rupees ($12.7 million) in a new manufacturing plant in India to produce crawler cranes. Production is scheduled to start in October 2011.

The Indian plant will be Kobelco’s first overseas production facility and will be located on a 40,000 square metre plot in the Sri City Special Economic Zone, about 75km north of Chennai in southeastern India, adjacent to a Kobelco excavator plant that is currently under construction. The initial covered area will be 6,900 square metres.

Kobelco says that the close proximity of the two plants will enable the companies to share distribution and information, which will increase the efficiency of their Indian operations.

Kobelco Cranes plans to establish a wholly owned Indian subsidiary - Kobelco Cranes India Pvt. Ltd. (KCI) later this year to operate the plant, which will produce cranes from 90 to 250 tonnes capacity.

The Indian market for crawler cranes, which reached around 200 units in 2009, is anticipated to grow to 700 cranes a year over the next five years, on the back of strong infrastructure investment, according to Kobelco.
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A 550 tonne capacity Kobelco SL6000

Kobelco’s owner, Kobe Steel, said earlier this year that its medium- to long-term business vision includes increasing overseas sales from the current 33 percent to around 50 percent. An important part of the plan is to establish a presence in large developing markets, such as China and India.

Kobe Steel’s crane business began in 1953 building US cranes under licence, since then production has been centered in Japan, which the company says enabled it “to polish its quality and technology”. It now says that in order to “grow quickly in the global market”, it has decided to start manufacturing overseas, overcoming foreign exchange risks and tariff barriers.”