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Jul 15, 2009

Flowserve to expand Coimbatore operations


Flowserve, a global provider of pumps, valves, seals, automation and services to diverse operations in India by adding a new block to the existing two blocks in Coimbatore plant.

"We are looking to establish a third block inside the Coimbatore facility to expand our manufacturing capacity," Flowserve president and CEO Lewis M Kling told reporters here on Tuesday. He was in the city to honour the Coimbatore associates with spirit of Flowserve CEO Leadership Award. In April 2007, the US-based company established a fully owned engineering and industrial pump manufacturing facility at Othakkalmandapam, 22 kms from Coimbatore.

Built on 14.5 acres at an investment of US $ 8.5 million, the plant produce s pumps for the oil and gas, power and chemical industries. The new block, which is to come up on the vacant eight acres land inside the current facility, would produce bigger and more complex pumps to cater to the requirement of nuclear energy sector.

"We would manufacture boiler feed pumps and large wide-range pu mps that would be used in power sector," Mr Kling said. As India is opening up for nuclear power generation, Mr Kling envisaged a good demand for higher range pumps. He said the new block would be ready in 2 to 3 years, but declined to share details on investment saying, "it all depends on market conditions."

He said the company’s operations in India are catering to export and local markets. Currently, it exports 95% of valves and 30% of pumps manufactured in its wholly automated units in India. Mr Kling said Indian operations contributed susbtantially to the Flowserve group turnover of US $ 4.5 billion. "In the last six years, the Indian operations have shown an year-on-year growth of 35%," he said. Noting that India produces the best engineers and CEOs, he said, the company is on a hiring mode and would employ 100 engineers in the next few months.

"We are looking at recruiting students from universities in India," he added. Flowserve India operations president S Gopinath said, the Coimbatore facility can be expanded and there is space for even a fourth block. Though he doesn’t foresee any immediate need for pumps to cater to the nuclear power industry, he said, the req uirement from the oil and gas industry is on the rise in India.

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