Shapoorji Pallonji Group floats Rs 2,610 long tenor bonds

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Through its subsidiary, SP Jammu Udhampur Highway Limited, a division of SP Infra, Shapoorji Pallonji Group, successfully placed and priced non-convertible debentures of Rs. 2,610 crores. By doing so, outstanding foreign currency and rupee borrowings were retired. Marking many firsts according to S. Mukundan, Managing Director, Shapoorji Pallonji Infrastructure Capital Co Pvt. Limited, the Group has achieved yet another landmark in the infrastructure space. Apart from being the longest tenor (15 years) infrastructure asset backed bond, it is also the first project backed bond to have a call option on part of the issue size.

It is among the tightest pricing achieved by a project bond, said S. Mukundan. Rated AAA (SO) by ICRA, at Rs 2,610 crores, this is among the largest private sector infrastructure bonds issued in India. Largest bond in the roads sector, and backed by annuity payments from National Highways Authority of India (NHAI), the proceeds of the bond will help SP Jammu Udhampur Highway Limited to lower its cost of debt and importantly eliminate exchange rate risk of the existing foreign currency debt. A special purpose vehicle of the Shapoorji Pallonji Group, SP Jammu Udhampur Highway Limited was set up for the design, construction, development, finance, operation and maintenance of a 64.58 km highway stretch between Jammu and Udhampur awarded on a Build, Operate and Transfer (BOT) Annuity basis by the NHAI.

Smart NOx sensors from Continental facilitate on-board diagnostics

Continental has launched smart NOx sensors for commercial vehicles in India. These sensors will find use on the Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) exhaust aftertreatment system fitted on BSIV emission norm compliant commercial vehicles. BS IV emission norms are expected to be rolled out by 2017.
As an important part of the SCR technology with on-board diagnostics (OBD II), the NOx sensors from Continental would be twofold – to measure NOx emissions and provide feedback to the SCR Control Unit to inject urea in proportion to the required reduction of NOx, and to help monitor emissions in the field as a key component of the OBD closed loop control system. Viswanath Nagaraja, Head of Business Unit Sensors & Actuators, Powertrain Division, Continental Automotive Components India said, “With the phased implementation of stricter BS IV & OBD II norms, we anticipate that nearly 50 percent of the heavy commercial Vehicle (HCV) market will adopt SCR technology after 2017. Almost all leading HCV manufacturers are currently developing their SCR systems with Continental NOx sensors. We will continue to serve our customers in India with our energy-saving and emission reduction technologies to help them meet regulatory requirements and support their environmental protection objectives.”37731c95-7980-429c-bf3c-ea6576f83f00_TempSmall

Shell Lubricants hosts the 4th edition of global lecture series in association with IIM Bangalore


16355c22-9817-4875-9abb-3043f85442dd_TempSmallFollowing the success of the first three editions of Shell Lubricants Global Lecture Series at Imperial College, London; Tsinghua University, Beijing and IIT Madras, Shell Lubricants, the global market share leader in finished lubricants organised the 4th edition of the lecture series today at IIM Bangalore to envision and deliberate on “Preparing you for the Future Energy shifts in Industry & Transport”. The discussions emphasized on the importance of technological collaboration while chalking out solutions for the energy challenges and adapting a cohesive approach towards the development of new grade technologies and equipment.

Addressing the 4th edition of the Shell Lubricants Global Lecture series, Nitin Prasad, Managing Director, Shell Lubricants India, said, “The Shell Lubricants Global Lecture Series is a unique platform to collaborate across industry and academia; it is an initiative driven by our core philosophy of innovation and collaboration. With this edition of the global lecture series we have established it as an annual property of Shell Lubricants India. This year the focus has been on highlighting the connect between global energy efficiency and adoption of fuel-efficient practices on a daily basis. We believe that the right set of lubricants, can not only bring efficiency to an industrial unit but in due course of time, to an entire industry. We are very happy to see the positive response from the industry professionals as well as the academia on the initiative.”

The event was attended by leading experts from automotive, power, construction, mining and manufacturing industry in India along with IIM Bangalore faculty and students.Distinguished speakers present at the event discussed across sectors’ specific energy challenges and solutions. These included Mr P. Panda, Sr. Vice President (Product Development), Maruti Suzuki India Ltd., Mr. K.K.  Gandhi, Executive Director (Technical), Society of Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM), Dr. S Gomathinayagam, Director General, National Institute of Wind Energy (NIWE) and Mr. Rajendra Petkar Head- Power Systems Engineering, Tata Motors, to name a few.

Dr. Cameron Watson, General Manager of Shell’s OEM and Direct Sector Technology, while commenting on Shell’s technical partnerships in India and abroad, said, “The scale of our energy challenges is such that a run-of-mill approach cannot make a difference. At Shell, we aspire for continuous improvement in efficiency; by taking an innovative and collaborative approach towards our products. We actively invest in R&D and creating collaborative platforms and avenues for our leading OEMs and academic institutions. Such initiatives help keep us abreast with the trends specific to various sectors, their consumers and to the global energy scenario.”

“The global energy landscape today is marked with numerous challenges. Depleting resources, increased energy demand and wasteful use of fuel are some of the key concerns that tend to lower the output of our industries, equipment and machinery. The need for judicious use of energy resources and maximisation of fuel economy across application streams is the need of the hour. Lubricants are an important element in the larger picture of energy efficiency. Keeping this in mind, at Shell, we give complete consideration to the energy scenarios and carefully design our lubricants”, said Dr. Felix Guerzoni, Global Product Application Specialist, Shell Global Solutions.

On the technological aspect, Mr. Akhil Jha, Vice President – Technical, Shell Lubricants India said,The global energy scenario today is influenced by multiple factors, both technological and non-technological. Some of these issues are product & hardware technologies, application & process engineering, rapidly increasing demand & shrinking supply base of conventional sources of energy. Political, economic, social and environmental factors also cast an influence on these. A comprehensive thought leadership forum such as Shell Lubricants Global Lecture Series, provides the best of the minds from diverse sections of the industry to come together and debate future possibilities to address these challenges.”

Professor Padmini Srinivasan of IIM Bangalore said, “We are happy to host an important event like the Shell Lubricants Global Lecture Series.  Events such as these provide students a great platforms where they get a chance to interact closely with industry experts. The agenda of this year’s lecture series has been of great interest to students and faculty and will enable them to look at the future energy scenario from a fresh and well-rounded perspective.”

Ground breaking ceremony of Sandvik’s new manufacturing and R&D facility plant in Chakan, Pune.

As part of its continued growth in the country and to leverage India’s position as one of the best cost countries in its operations, Sandvik had recently announced a commitment to set-up a world-class manufacturing facility at Chakan, which is part of the Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation (MIDC) Industrial Park near Pune.
Development of the site commenced today with the ground-breaking ceremony held at the site. The facility will be operational by end of 2016.
The company has made an initial investment of $45 million (approx. 275 crore) towards the 53 acre plant. To develop the facility, the company will make strategic investments in a phased manner over the next 5 years. In the first tranche, it has announced a USD 45 Million commitment to commence development of the site by mid-2015. The new world-class manufacturing facility will help the company further innovate and create solutions for India’s emerging needs under the visionary ‘Make in India’ initiative.
Sandvik is a global industrial group with advanced products and world-leading positions in selected areas – tools for metal cutting, equipment and tools for the mining and construction industries, stainless materials, special alloys, metallic and ceramic resistance materials as well as process systems. In 2014 the Group had about 47,000 employees and representation in 130 countries.
Sandvik Asia is the Indian subsidiary of the Sandvik Group and a strategic growth engine in its emerging markets footprint.

RBI’s firm stand fails to dilute auto industry’s optimism


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RBI’s firm stand on repo rates in its announcement in August 2015 has failed to damped the spirit of the Indian auto industry. While industry leaders see growth coming from passenger vehicles (cars and utility vehicles) and commercial vehicles (M&HCVs), the rate of growth is estimated to be in single digits. A slump in rural demand hitting two-wheeler growth, CV sales growth is expected to be based on replacement demand at the cargo end for some more time yet. The improvement in efficiency and quality the industry has been working upon will bear fruits, claim industry sources. They adds that maintaining global standards will help to expand export opportunities. With the next wave of CV sector growth expected to come from infra and mining projects getting back on track, industry leaders have also stressed on the need for agriculture to pickup.

With the likelihood of RBI cutting repo rates ahead of the festive season, and on the emergence of actionable data prints, programmes like FAME are also expected to attract investment in the area of hybrid and alternate fuel commercial vehicles in the form of a PPP model. Said V S Parthasarathy, Group CFO, Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd, “The absence of RBI rate action was on expected and understandable lines.

That inflation is estimated to be on track, the supply side is still constrained, the exports are vulnerable and the banks are suffering from low credit off take, offered an alternate scenario for an ‘unexpected’ rate cut action. In the event, we are content in deriving comfort that RBI is poised for accommodative action as soon as actionable data prints emerge.” 

IIT-Madras and Harita Seating Systems to collaborate

The Indian Institute of Technology Madras (IIT-M) and Harita Seating Systems Ltd (HSSL) will collaborate to address the cause of road accidents by developing disruptive products. The disruptive products are expected to aptly intervene in order to avoid road accidents. As an initiation of this process, IIT-M will transfer indigenous technological knowhow to HSSL on ubiquitous monitoring of driver performance and behaviour. The plan is to jointly leverage the experience in product development and manufacturing to make commercially viable products in India that will enhance road safety for all stakeholders.
Said Dr. Venkatesh Balasubramanian, Professor, Department of Engineering Design, IIT Madras, “The concepts developed and tested in lab as a design tool could be transferred to a leading manufacturer (HSSL) who would launch products with intelligent safety systems incorporated in the near future and thereby make a small contribution from IITM in the journey of safe roads in India.” A. G. Giridharan, President, HSSL, added, “Harita has design, comfort, safety and innovation as the core elements in its product range. This technology transfer and collaboration agreement will be along our group’s vision of developing products and lead the market by virtue of our innovativeness that takes ‘Make in India’ for the world.”e0397115-8f38-463c-909c-bb3441a76e38_TempSmall

MapmyIndia and Eicher to make school buses connected

MapmyIndia has partnered with VE Commercial Vehicles for enabling connected school buses. The solution, which aims to provide comprehensive details about the children and the bus during transit, will be equipped optionally on newer Eicher buses.

The solution will include vehicle tracking via GPS, RFID tags for children to track when the get off and get on the bus, on board cameras with DVR and GPRS connectivity for live two-way communication, and an alert system that will send alerts above various activities of the child to parents via email and SMS.

Other features include driver authorization which only lets an authorized driver start the bus, remote vehicle disablers, historical route play and scheduling reports. MapmyIndia’s maps and voice guidance system will be used on the bus for tracking and route guidance.