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Vienna-based RHI Magnesita is planning to invest Rs 400 crore in India to expand its refractory making capacity, its Global CEO Stefan Borgas said on Tuesday.

At present, the company produces 1.42 lakh tonne (LT) refractory material at three plants located at Bhiwadi, Visakhapatnam and Cuttack, he told PTI during an interaction.

Without sharing any timeline, Borgas said, "The company plans to double its capacity to 2.8 LT. We will make Rs 400 crore Capex investment to expand India production capacity".

He further said a research and development (R&D) centre was inaugurated at Bhiwadi on Tuesday.

This is the fifth R&D facility in the company's global network after Leoben (Austria), Contagem (Brazil), Dalian (China) and York (United States), the CEO said.

"The R&D centre in India is part of our efforts to make India an R&D and manufacturing hub for India, Middle East, Africa region," he said.

The investments will be made through its Indian listed entity RHI Magnesita India, Borgas added.

Parmod Sagar, MD and CEO of RHI Magnesita India, said, “The centre will help us to better understand the local market needs and to react faster to customer requirements".

It will work closely with the company's global R&D network for local raw materials development, provide solutions support for customer's performance improvement projects and support local manufacturing in the three plants in India, he noted.

RHI Magnesita is the leading global supplier of high-grade refractory products, systems and solutions, which are critical for high-temperature processes.

The company has a customer base in more than 70 countries.

Refractory is used by a wide range of industries, including steel, cement, non-ferrous metals and glass.