Ashok Leyland to set up auto plant in Iran

By SiliconIndia   |   Wednesday, 30 June 2004, 07:00 Hrs
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NEW DELHI: The Hinduja Group flagship firm Ashok Leyland is planning to set up a multi-million dollar plant in Iran for assembling CNG trucks and buses.

The company is talking to state-run gas firm GAIL India Ltd and Iranian government for a joint venture for the project which would also involve laying pipelines from gas field to consumption centres and setting up CNG fueling stations.

"We will put up an assembling plant near Tehran while GAIL would assist in setting up the CNG distribution network. The Iranian national company will supply natural gas, which will be piped to various cities where it will be compressed and dispensed to automobiles," a senior official with Ashok Leyland said.

The investment, equity structure and timeframe for the project is yet to be firmed up, he said, adding Tehran has shown keen interest in the project.

The Iranian venture would be similar to Ashok Leyland's Sri Lanka foray where it has set up an assembling factory at Panagoda, about 40 km from Colombo, for manufacturing 15,000 trucks and buses per year.

While Ashok Leyland manufactures CNG buses for Delhi, CNG trucks for Tehran would be the first such venture.

"We have the technology. The problem in India is that CNG dispensing facilities are located only in two cities - Delhi and Mumbai and trucks plying on inter-state routes have problems of refueling," the official said.

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