Philips Carbon Black to fix southern location of Rs 600-crore project; net jumps 92%

RP-Sanjiv Goenka Group-owned Phillips Carbon Black (PCBL) will take a final call on the location of its proposed Rs 600-crore greenfield project, which will be in south India, by March, top company official said on Wednesday.

The company has been discussing with the state governments of Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana for setting up the plant which will have a capacity of 1,50,000 tonne per annum.

"We still have to freeze the location of the Greenfield plant in south India. We have not taken a final call yet. Discussions are on with various state governments in southern India. We will freeze the location by March," said group's chairman Sanjiv Goenka.

The company on Wednesday reported a 92 per cent increase in its net profit to Rs 108.58 crore in the quarter ended December 31, 2018 from Rs 56.59 crore in the corresponding period previous year. It also posted a revenue of Rs 949.99 crore in the December quarter, up 54 per cent from Rs 618.56 crore in the year-ago period.

Goenka said that the improvement in net profit could be attributed to a shift in product mix to more value-added premium grades and improved efficiency in all function.

Goenka said that the additional 56,000-tonne capacity at Mundra in Gujarat has been commissioned and capacity expansion of 30,000 tonne at Palej in the western state is expected to be completed by third quarter of FY20 (2019-20).

He said that the company is focussing on value-added and speciality products.

He said, “As we go ahead, 15 per cent of our total capacity will move towards value-added and speciality black in about two years time from the present (proportion of) about 7-8 per cent.” The company has set up a R&D centre at Palej, Goenka said.

“We will have an R&D centre internationally and by July-September, we will finalise the country where it will be set up,” he added.

The company had earlier said some capital raising was on the cards to restructure existing loans and fund expansion.

The carbon black major's debt currently stands at about Rs 700 crore, down from Rs 1,200 crore two years ago, despite pumping an additional Rs 500 crore in brownfield expansions in Palej and Mundra in Gujarat. PCBL has not yet announced the location of its 1.5-lakh-tonne greenfield plant

Ritwik Mukherjee