Saint-Gobain Glass India, a fully-owned subsidiary of Saint-Gobain France, has confirmed plans to set up the world’s largest float glass line in India at a total investment of Rs 1000 crore (US$21.3 million), according to the company’s Managing Director, B. Santhanam.

At a recent press conference in Kolkata, Mr Santhanam said the company was planning to build a 950 tonnes per day float glass facility near Delhi. This would be its second plant
in India.

“It will be the world’s largest float glass line,” said Mr Santhanam. “We hope to start production by the end of 2011.”

Saint-Gobain India is reportedly the market leader in architectural glass in the country, with an 80% market share. So far, it has invested Rs 1700 crore in India and is said to be looking for investment opportunities in the growing solar control and solar power glass segment. Reinforcing the importance of the company’s operations in India, Mr Santhanam said that for every €6 investment across the world, at least €1 of it would come to India in the future.

The company is currently focusing on the value-added glass sector rather than commodities. The glass business currently accounts for half of the Saint-Gobain group’s turnover in India. The group has a registered turnover of Rs 3000 crore for 2009-2010.