Austral's claim of 3.75 L tpa capacity misleading: Guj NRE

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Ahmedabad, Aug 7 (UNI) Gujarat NRE Coke, the largest independent producer of LAMC, today rubbished Austral Coke and Projects Limited's claim of achieving production capacity of 3.75 lakh TPA, saying it was ''half truths and downright lies''.

Austral Coke and Projects Limited today opened its public issue, claiming its current production capacity is that of 3.75 lakh TPA.

Gujarat NRE in a release said ''Austral's claim of current production capacity of 3.75 lakh TPA is completely baseless, considering the fact that the very basis on which the company's projections are made is wrong and misleading. In fact, the company has only two chimneys which can give it a produce of 60,000 to 70,000 tons of coke, which cannot justify the claimed figures by any stretch of engineering excellence.'' Incidentally, Gujarat NRE Coke has 20 chimneys with a current capacity of 6.82 lakh tpa in Gujarat. Austral has not only made a series of misstatements in its prospectus fraudulently, but has also dragged in Gujarat NRE Coke's name as a ''peer'' seeking to cash in on the company's reputation and goodwill in the industry and the investing fraternity.

The release further said Austral has claimed in the prospectus that it has four chimneys which are completed and installed, whereas the fact is that it has only two chimneys while two others are under construction in their plant at Lunva in Bhachau taluka of Gujarat.

Even as Austral's website, their corporate video as well as the corporate presentation shows only two chimneys, while the other two ''stubs'' are in various stages of construction.

Even with four chimneys, Austral's production can only reach about 1.20 lakh tons to 1.40 lakh tons per annum leaving a huge gap between the actual truth and the fraudulent claims. The actual production figures have not been disclosed by Austral in its prospectus to cover up the ''window dressing'', the release alleged.

The financial comparison by Austral with Gujarat NRE Coke, which is based on such engineered and doctored data, is made with the twin intent to cheat and defraud investors on the one hand and defame Gujarat NRE Coke on the other. The promoters of Austral have claimed that they were the original promoters of Gujarat NRE Coke Ltd, while conveniently forgetting to mention that they were forcefully ''expelled'' in 1997 from Gujarat NRE Coke Limited by the shareholders because of fraudulent practice, the release added.

UNI PVN SSS SKB1807

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