Base Batteries, a Bangalore-based VRLA (valve-regulated lead-acid) batteries manufacturer, is in the processing of adding a capacity of 130m ampere hours (Ah) a year at its Hosur plant in Tamil Nadu with an investment of Rs110 crore ($18m), said its chief operating officer, Aditya Arora.
The 22-year-old, privately-held company has two manufacturing plants – one at Solan in Himachal Pradesh with an annual capacity of 45m Ah, and the other at Hosur with a current capacity of 100m Ah a year. The company has so far invested Rs 370 crore ($59.8m) in Phase-I of its Hosur facility.
“The proposed expansion is aimed at manufacturing medium-to-large VRLA batteries to cater to the requirements of railways, telecom, solar and defence sectors. It will also have a fully-automated line to produce automobile batteries, predominantly for original equipment manufacturers (OEMs). The expansion should be completed in two years from now,” he said.
Base Batteries is in negotiations with tractor, two-wheeler and four-wheeler OEMs, Arora said, adding a portion of the expanded capacity, primarily traction batteries, would be exported to the MENA (Middle East and North Africa) region and South America.
Base Batteries reported revenues of Rs 1,120 crore ($181m) during the last financial year and is expecting Rs 1,300 crore this fiscal. While the aftermarket batteries contribute 90% to the company’s overall revenues, industrial batteries account for the rest. To a query on whether the company has any plans for an initial public offering, Arora replied in the negative. “Not anytime now. We will consider going public three years later,” he said, adding the company was contemplating doing in-house research on lithium-ion battery technology.