Mumbai: JSW Group, the owner of India’s third-largest steel producer, plans to invest ₹ 4000 crores ($610 million) to boost its port and cement capacity in the next two years.
JSW Infrastructure Ltd, plans to almost double its ability to handle cargo at its ports to 62 million tonnes, with a target to further increase it to 200 million tonnes by 2025, Seshagiri Rao, group chief financial officer, said in an interview. Cement capacity is estimated to increase to 17 million tonnes in the next 24 months from 6 million tonnes, he said.
“Ports appear to be a very, very attractive investment as ports and inland waters have not at all been leveraged in India," Rao said in Bloomberg’s Mumbai office on Wednesday. “We feel that in each of the core infrastructure sectors there is a huge amount of change which is happening."
Prime Minister Narendra Modi is stepping up efforts to implement his plan of luring investment to build roads, navigable waterways and power plants to improve India’s creaky infrastructure, whose quality is ranked below that of Kazakhstan and Namibia. Boosting infrastructure spending by 1% of gross domestic product could add 3.4 million jobs, McKinsey & Co. estimated in 2013.
Shares of JSW Steel Ltd closed at ₹ 871.70, down 2.20% on the BSE on Thursday.
Rao said the group will build its own cement plants instead of acquiring an existing business even as other firms sell factories. Billionaire Anil Ambani’s Reliance Infrastructure Ltd. plans to sell its cement plants as it seeks to focus on its defence business and has shortlisted seven buyers, according to an exchange filing. Jaiprakash Associates Ltd. has also sold cement units to Ultratech Cement Ltd. Bloomberg
With assistance from George Smith Alexander in Mumbai