After starting Indian operations as far back as in 1902 by setting up the country’s first hydro power plant in Karnataka, General Electric (GE), the US-based diversified manufacturing and infrastructure giant, will invest over Rs.1,000 crore to set up its first manufacturing facility in the country.
GE’s new facility, to be set up by its Indian arm GE India, will come up at the Chakan industrial area near Pune, part of the Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation (MIDC) Industrial Park.
It will make localised products and solutions for the energy and transportation sectors such as gas-fuelled engines, packaged generator sets, control systems for power sector, compressors for oil and gas industry, wind turbine generators, diesel engines for locomotives.
Spread over 68 acres, it will create employment for over 2,500 people. The first phase of the facility is expected to be operational in the next two years and bring in revenues to the tune of $500 million or about Rs.2,500 crore.
GE India and the Maharashtra government signed an agreement formalising the investment.
“I would like to request GE to set up a state-of-the-art research and development centre too in Maharashtra,” said chief minister Prithviraj Chavan. GE India currently has an R&D centre in Bangalore which employs more than 4,000 scientists, researchers and engineers.
Chavan said the current investment by GE has come under the Industrial Mega Project Policy, which was mooted by the state in 2005. “So far, we have approved 335 projects which have brought in revenues to the tune of over `2.75 lakh crore and created employment for over three lakh people,” he said.
GE India’s president and chief executive officer John Flannery said the company will also look at exports after stabilising the operations at the new facility.“While we are present across several sectors, our three major strengths are energy, healthcare and transportation,” said Flannery.“The first phase from the facility will cater to the needs of energy and transportation and after 2013, we will expand the facility for other products as well.”
The next phase of expansion at the facility is expected to start after three years.