Ports, roads, steel: 5 companies step up investments as economy recovers

In a financial year marked by lockdowns, factory shutdowns, logistical and supply chain disruptions, some of India’s biggest corporates announced investments worth billions. A Deloitte-Business Standard analysis of BSE 100 companies found that capital expenditure increased by Rs 55,890 crore during the coronavirus pandemic year of 2020. FMCG companies led the pack, and mining and oil companies saw asset addition in excess of Rs 10,000 crore. Here is a look investments planned by five big companies.

Sai Manish | Business Standard
26th January

Tata Group

The Tata Group announced big investments in October 2020, though its automobile and its steel businesses suffered due to lockdowns to contain the coronavirus and supply chain disruptions. Tata Electronics will invest Rs 5,000 crore to set up a phone component manufacturing facility in Hosur, Tamil Nadu. The factory will supply components to Apple, which has asked Taiwan’s Foxconn company to make iPhones for it in Sriperumbudur, Tamil Nadu. That is apart from Foxconn’s announcement in July 2020 that will invest $1 billion to expand its factory to help Apple move part of its production from China to India.

Larsen & Toubro (L&T)

L&T's operating expenses fell by half compared to the same period last year during the first quarter of 2020-21. The company, despite the coronavirus crisis, bagged deals and it will invest more than Rs 14,000 crore for two "mega" contracts to build stretches of the Ahmedabad-Mumbai high-speed rail corridor. The Narendra Modi government’s infrastructure push meant that L&T, by September 2020, had bagged contracts in which it is investing over Rs 51,000 crore.

Adani Ports and SEZ

India’s largest port operator is one of the few BSE 100 companies that suffered little during the lockdown. Adani announced in October it had completed acquiring the Krishnapatnam port in Tamil Nadu for Rs 12,000 crore. The port can handle 92 MMT of cargo, but it handled almost half of that in 2019. Adani has said that it would double the port’s capacity to 100 MMT by 2025.

Ultratech Cement

The Aditya Birla group’s cement company is investing Rs 5477 crore in expanding companies and building new ones. The investment would increase the company’s production capacity by around 10 per cent to 136.25 MPTA (million tonnes per annum). Media reports said that the company is considering new factories in Rajasthan and expanding ones in Uttar Pradesh, Odisha, Bihar, and West Bengal.

JSW Steel

JSW Steel said in August it's "committed" to building a steel plant in Jatadhar in Jagatsinghpur district of Odisha for Rs 53,700 crore. The plant is expected to have a capacity of 13.2 MPTA and will be reportedly set up through Utkal Steel, a subsidiary of JSW. Reports said the plant is part of the Rs 1 lakh crore investment the group has announced in Odisha. Sajjan Jindal, chairman and managing director of the group, had a video call with Odisha chief minister Naveen Patnaik in August to discuss the investments. The plant is planned at the same place where South Korean steelmaker’s Posco’s $12 billion project was to be set-up. That project was scrapped after protests.

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