Danish group Danfoss to invest $100 mn in India

Chennai, June 27 (IANS) The $6-billion Danish group Danfoss A/S will invest $100 million in India by 2015 as part of its $750 million global investment plan, a top group official said.

"Globally, we plan to invest around $750 million by 2015. We are looking out for acquisition in our core areas. In India, we will be investing around $100 million and if need be we will up the investment," Niels B. Christiansen, Danfoss's president and chief executive, told IANS during a recent visit to Tamil Nadu capital Chennai.

Danfoss is a global leader in making products that save energy and reduce emissions. Its products are used in cooling food, air conditioning, heating buildings, controlling electric motors and power mobile machinery.

Christiansen added that besides catering to some overseas markets, the group's Indian plant can also start making some products currently made at the group's other plants.

"Some of the products made in our Mexican plant can be made in India," Christiansen said.

He added that Danfoss has invested close to $1 billion in acquiring full control of Danfoss Turbocor Compressors and Sauer-Danfoss and that the group is open for further acquisitions if there are suitable outfits.

"We are looking for merger and acquisitions in Asia and the US," said Kim Fausing, group's executive vice president and chief operating officer.

Christiansen, who sees Danfoss's global sales to be nearly flat in 2013, said the European market in 2014 will be better while there is good growth in Russia and China.

Though the sales prediction for the current year will be nearly flat, Christiansen said the company is grabbing market share from competition.

"India is one of the investment areas apart from China, Russia and Turkey," he said.

The president and chief executive of the group added that the Indian market ranks 11 for Danfoss which means there is good growth potential in the food cold chain sector.

"Our new Indian plant will cater to the domestic and global markets," Fausing told IANS.

The Danish group will be consolidating all its Indian operations at its new site at Oragadam, around 50 km from here, where it will build substantial production and development facilities.

The new campus will also focus on research and development (R&D), testing and training labs, manufacturing and support functions.

According to Ravichandran Purushothaman, president of Danfoss India, the company posted a turnover of Rs.500 crore last year.

For Danfoss, the India growth story rests on drivers like growing urbanisation, opportunity for retail sector and renewable energy sector.

According to group officials, the growing middle class has resulted into an increased demand for air conditioning, ventilation and energy, while the growth in organised retail sector is expected to increase the demand for cold storage capacity.

This in turn offers Danfoss opportunities in industrial refrigeration, controls, freezers, chillers and condensing units.

"We are working with Tamil Nadu Banana Federation to reduce the post-harvest wastage," Purushothaman said.

In the power and energy segment Danfoss sees opportunities for its frequency converters.

"We are also looking at the solar energy market here," Fausing added.

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