Lafarge in expansion mode; sets up plant in Rajashthan

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New Delhi, Jul 6 (UNI) Lafarge Boral Gypsum India, the world leader in building materials having a 20 per cent share in the gypsum board market in India, said it has drawn up plans to make a bigger splash in the country.

"So far we have touched only the tip of the iceberg. In a growing economy with a faster growing commercial and residential sector and given the much higher usage of gypsum in other Asian markets, we are set to make a bigger mark in India," Mr Oliver Chaudet, CEO India, Lafarege Boral Gypsum India Private Ltd, told a newsconference here.

The proof of the pudding lies in its eating. The first Gypsum plant of the Company was launched in India yesterday at Khuskhera in Rajashtan. The plant has an annual production capacity of ten million square meter and entailed a total investment of Rs 100 crores.

Lafarge Boral Gypsum in India is a 50:50 joint venture between Lafarge, the French major in building materials, and Boral, the Australian constructional materials group.

The Company has so far supplied the Indian market with gypsum board solutions under the brand 'LaGyp' from its plants in Asia.

Lafarge is the world leader in building materials, with top ranking positions in all its business-- cement, aggregates and concrete and gypsum.

"We offer the construction industry and the general public innovative solutions bringing greater safety, comfort and quality to their everday life," Mr Claudet said.

"India represents strong potential for the development of the Gypsum business, with a highly sophisticated construction market and immense needs for new commercial and residential spaces," Executive Vice-President Gypusm Lafarge Christian Herrault said. Mr Herrault described the new plant as state of the art and environmentally friendly. He said it was unique in the State in terms of value addition it brings to the gypsum mineral mined in Rajashtan. It will also create several man hours of employment for skilled installers in a relatively new trade in the construction industry.

Mr Chaudet delve at length at the strategy the Company has outlined for being a leading construction material player in India---- (a) sustained growth that creates value for the company's shareholders and doubles its turnover every four years; (b) building strong brands that meet consumer needs and aspirations; (c) embracing safety as a way of life; (d) ensuring sutainable development; (e) commitment to corporate goverance; and (e) fostering a performance culture with customer orientation and sharing of best practices which will make it the most prefered employer.

Lafarge entered the Indian market in 1999, with the acquisition of the cement business of tata Steel. The acquisition was followed by the purchase of the Raymod Cement facility in 2001.

UNI GS MP PM1357

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