London/Rotterdam/Mumbai 18 February 2013: Unilever has used the visit of British Prime Minister David Cameron to its Hindustan Unilever business in Mumbai to announce that it is investing €50 million to set up its first Asian aerosol deodorant manufacturing facility in Khamgaon, Maharashtra.
Investment in this new factory in India complements the €70 million committed to building new homecare liquids and distribution facilities in Thailand announced last week and €75 million to building a new home care factory and expanding existing manufacturing plants in South Africa announced at the end of January.
Pier Luigi Sigismondi, Chief Supply Chain Officer Unilever, said: "Unilever’s supply chain is central to the company’s delivery of consistent, sustainable and profitable growth. This investment in India is part of our broader expansion plans to help us achieve our ambition of doubling our business, whilst halving our environmental impact. The Khamgaon plant is one of the thirty new factories being built by 2015 and we will utilise the latest technology to deliver the increased quality products our consumers demand whilst meeting the Unilever Sustainable Living Plan commitments."
Prime Minister David Cameron said: "It’s great to be visiting Unilever’s Indian Headquarters today - more than 120 years since Sunlight soap, one of Unilever’s earliest products, was first exported from Britain to India. Unilever is a shining example of how a business with British roots can succeed in India and beyond and I’m delighted to hear they’re expanding further -investing over £40 million in a new manufacturing plant in Khamgaon to service the emerging Indian and South Asian markets."
Investment in Khamgaon will be phased over three years and production capacity will gradually be scaled up to generate direct employment for over 150 people and indirect employment for about 200 people. The plant will service demand from India and across South East Asia including Malaysia, Thailand, Singapore and Vietnam.
The plant will utilise the latest technologies to maximise energy efficiency and reduce waste water to zero. This is in line with Unilever’s goal of reducing water use in manufacturing. Hindustan Unilever Limited (HUL) has reduced water usage in its manufacturing operations by 10.1% when compared with 2010 and by 21.5% compared to our 2008 baseline. More than 75% of HUL’s manufacturing sites are zero-discharge sites.
Nitin Paranjpe, Hindustan Unilever CEO, said: "Today’s announcement is another example of our commitment to cater to our growth in India. It will enable us to better serve consumers with innovation and green technology, as well as improve service levels to our retail customers."
Unilever directly employs more than 16,000 people full time in India. Head office is in Mumbai with more than 40 manufacturing plants across the country.