Inauguration of Saint-Gobain World Glass Complex
Bhiwadi, Rajasthan, 27 October 2014
On 27 October 2014, Smt Vasundhara Raje, Hon’ble Chief Minister of Rajasthan, inaugurated the new Saint-Gobain flat glass (float) production plant in India, in the presence of H.E. Mr François Richier, Ambassador of France to India, and Mr Pierre-André de Chalendar, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Saint-Gobain.
The France-based Saint-Gobain Group has had a strong presence in India since 1996, with eight businesses in operation today in two sectors: innovative materials and construction products all across India.
Saint-Gobain Glass India, a subsidiary of Compagnie de Saint-Gobain, manufactures and markets a wide variety of flat glass products and solutions. After starting operations in 2000 - with the commissioning of its first float glass plant – it is today a leading player in this industry.
Located in Bhiwadi, Alwar district Rajasthan, not far from New Delhi, the new World Glass Complex, the fourth Saint-Gobain float plant in India, saw an investment of over 185 M USD (approximately one thousand crore rupees). It is the result of an agreement signed back in 2008 when the Chief Minister of Rajasthan was already Smt Vasundhara Raje. This project highlights the commitment of French companies to manufacturing in India – “Make in India”.
This complex is Saint-Gobain’s newest, India’s largest and the world’s most modern manufacturing facility. This state-of-the-art, fully automated float line covers a surface area of 27 acres and has a manufacturing capacity of close to 1000 tons of glass per day (3,00,000 metric tons per year). Once the plant is fully operational (by mid-2015), Saint-Gobain will have a total installed production capacity of 9,000 tons of glass per day.
Saint-Gobain also has a strong commitment to Research and Development: for many years now Saint-Gobain has been investing in IT Development Centre, establishing its seventh transversal Global R&D Centre in Chennai, Tamil Nadu (2013). With the support of the French Embassy in India (Science and Technology Department), this Centre, named Saint-Gobain Research India (SGRI), has developed a strong collaboration with the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Madras. In 2015, the SGRI will be based within the Research Park of the IIT Madras campus. Furthermore, in 2013, the SGRI and the Indo-French Center for the Promotion of Advanced Research (Cefripa) signed an MoU to create a research programme in the field of sustainable habitats.
This new investment added up to the 19 Bn USD total investment stock of French companies in India, making France one of the topmost foreign investors in India. The pace has been a billion euros per year since the past two years, with French companies employing more than 2,40,000 skilled Indian workers, placing France as one of India’s leading economic partners.