US firm unveils Rs.50-crore water heater plant in India

Bangalore, June 30 (IANS) America’s leading commercial water heater manufacturer A.O. Smith Corporation Wednesday unveiled its first production facility in India at Harohalli near Bangalore, with an upfront investment of Rs.50 crore.

‘The state-of-the art plant, which caters to specific demands of the Indian market, signals our next phase of global expansion in India,’ Smith Corporation Chief Executive Paul W. Jones told reporters on the occasion.

The water heaters have innovative features such as glass coated element, patented Blue Diamond glass lining, energy efficient insulation and custom colour options.

The plant is also designed to roll out residential water heaters in six-to-100 litres capacity.

‘Though we are very new in this country, we see huge potential for growth due to the economic rebound in the Indian sub-continent,’ Jones said.

The 136-year-old company also manufactures electric motors and water filtration products.

Ajita Rajendra, the $2-billion Smith’s Indian subsidiary president, said sales in India had exceeded expectations since July 2008.

‘The growing demand for high quality water heating solutions prompted us to set up the plant for speedy delivery and quick servicing,’ Rajendra said.

The Blue Diamond glass lining offers superior corrosion resistance unlike conventional glass-lined products, stainless steel, or copper lined tanks, offering protection against premature tank failure caused by hard water commonly found in India.

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