Kobelco inaugurates its first manufacturing facility at Sri City in Tamil Nadu.Kobelco Construction Machinery, a group company of Kobe Steel, inaugurated its first manufacturing plant in India to manufacture hydraulic excavators, enabling Kobelco to make a full-scale entry into India's rapidly growing construction equipment market. This plant will be the first manufacturing facility of the Kobe Steel Group in India. The new plant is located in Sri City, about 55 km north of Chennai. This modern facility is constructed on 68,000 sq m of land, and will have assembly, painting and shipping lines.The plant will be a part of the existing Kobelco Construction Equipment India (KCEI) which currently markets and services Kobelco brand excavators from its headquarters at Noida. With this state-of-the-art plant, KCEI will become a full-line company covering manufacturing, marketing and after sales services. KCEI is a joint venture between Kobelco Construction Machinery and the ITOCHU Group. Kobelco will hold 95 per cent equity share of KCEI. With an initial capacity of 1,200 units per year, the plant will initially produce 20-tonne class machines, for which the demand is the highest in India. Flexible plant equipment will enable KCEI to also make large machines, to meet future growth in demand.The plant was inaugurated by Shigeto Kotani, President, Kobelco Construction Machinery, Japan, in the presence of Sam Bob, Industries Secretary, Government of Andhra Pradesh. Many officials of the Andhra Pradesh government, representatives of Kobelco Group Companies worldwide also graced the occasion.Kotani said, "Kobelco realised that increasing its presence in the steadily growing Asian region is vital for its growth. This led to the decision to build a plant in the Indian market. The construction machinery market is a global business and the Indian market is a huge potential market, after China, in the growing Asian region."Vikram Sharma, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of the Indian operations said, "Kobelco expects to grow rapidly with initiation of local manufacturing. The total investment is about Rs 100 crore over a period of about 3-4 years."As a core member of the 233-billion-yen (Rs 11,900 crore) Kobe Steel Group, Japan, with more than 40,000 employees worldwide, the Kobelco Construction Machinery (KCM) Group, Japan, has a long history of developing construction machinery. Started in 1930, KCM's history spans over 75 years. Since then, the company has developed many innovative products and techniques that have contributed to a breakthrough in construction machinery technology.Today, KCM is a market leader that develops innovative state-of-the-art products such as the Hybrid excavator and the SK3500D building demolition machines. KCM in co-operation with Kobe Steel's Kobe Corporate Research Laboratories works to promote continuous research and development. Established in November 2006, KCEI will manufacture, market and service Kobelco-brand high performance hydraulic excavators. Currently, the marketing and servicing arm is headquartered in Noida.In addition, country-specific enclaves are specially created to offer specific and exclusive facilities to companies from these countries. The enclave will include a gated community development that offers local-style homes, food-courts with native chefs, translators and an 18-hole golf course. Robust industrial infrastructure such as road, water, power, telecom and sewer networks will service these zones making Sri City a hassle-free operational zone. Residential areas, commercial hubs, world-class healthcare, educational institutions, recreation centres and all necessary amenities will support the industrial zones at Sri City making it a truly integrated development for business and lifestyle.