Competition in India’s burgeoning lead-acid market has been ramped up after Exide Industries announced a Rs.1,400 crore ($207million) investment plan.
The Kolkata-based battery firm, controlled by the Raheja family, is investing in punch grid technology at its Haldia facility in West Bengal, writes India’s Financial Express.
A ‘significant amount’ of the cash is expected to be spent on technology up-grading and capacity expansion over the next year at the facility. Punched battery grids produce consistent grids.
This advanced technology for batteries would be a first for India, according to investment firm Edelweiss Securities.
The company is said to be working with US lead-acid firm East Penn Manufacturing Company, which is providing the knowhow, technical assistance and support for the punch grid technology.
Demand for automotive and industrial batteries, as well as invertor and UPS batteries, improved in India during the first quarter of 2016, Exide’s former managing director and chief executive officer P Kataky, said in a recent report.
The battery maker has nine factories spread across the country, with a total annual production capacity of around 34.2 million automobile batteries.
Kataky was replaced as managing director In May by Gautam Chatterjee.
Earlier this year Exide’s closest rival Amara Raja Batteries announced it was to double its VRLA output to 25million units a year.
Meanwhile Indian firm Greenvision Technologies secured an $8million (Rs 52 crore) investment from a Singapore-based venture fund Vintage Energy & Resources as well as launching a gel-based battery onto the Indian e-rickshaw market.