Reliance Plans to Develop $1bn, Aerospace Park
The Reliance Group (also referred to as Reliance ADA Group) which came into existence in June 2005 following a demerger from Reliance Industries Limited and is spearheaded by Anil Dhirubhai Ambani, he is the younger son of the visionary entrepreneur Shri Dhirubhai Ambani and lives with his mother Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani in Mumbai. Anil is an Indian business magnate, investor, and philanthropist with a net worth of $5.9 billion according to the Forbes billionaire list for 2014.
For the purpose of developing India’s first smart city for the defense sector Reliance Group has selected Mihan (Multi-modal International Cargo Hub and Airport at Nagpur) in Maharashtra. The smart city has been named Dhirubhai Ambani Aerospace Park (DAAP) and according to estimates the development cost for the smart city will be $1 billion and it will be equipped to manufacture helicopters for both commercial use and as well as for the use of Indian military forces.
This ambitious project is touted to be the first of its kind in the country boasting an integrated facility in aerospace structure, engine design, and manufacture, as well as a facility for fabrication and platform integration.
With this move, Anil Ambani led Reliance Group will firmly establish itself as an aggressive player in defense sector and also enable them to seize the opportunity worth $100 billion that would come up as part of the NDA government’s ‘Make in India’ program which is to focus and promote local manufacturing of defense equipment.
Anil Ambani, the Chairman of Reliance Group added “The group plans to develop DAAP as a center of excellence in the aerospace segment on the lines of the global center of shipbuilding at Pipavav in Gujarat.” The Reliance group increased its defense manufacturing. They bought Pipavav Defence and Offshore Engineering (PDOE) which is promoted by Nikhil Gandhi. Pipavav Shipyard is one of the largest and leading shipbuilding companies in India, spread over 500 acres (2.0 km). It has access to over 720 meters of exclusive waterfront. The company was established as a wholly-owned subsidiary of SKIL Infrastructure in 1997 at Pipavav, Gujarat.
In 2005, with funding from major Indian financial institutions, the company was registered as Pipavav Shipyard Limited. The company later raised additional financing from a number of private equity investors in 2007. Pipavav Shipyard as a company came in the public front in 2009 with listings on the Bombay Stock Exchange and the National Stock Exchange.
PDOE has the largest dry dock facility to build warships. In accordance with the company’s vision of the indigenization process, the company has subsequently committed investments of Rs. 5,000 crore towards the same. Also, the company officials revealed that before zeroing in on Mihan they considered and negotiated with the governments of Maharashtra, UP, Madhya Pradesh, and Rajasthan regarding the prospective land for the project.
There are also speculations that DAAP may borrow some of the influences from Aerospace Valley in France, which consists of a concentrated cluster of dedicated aerospace companies and research centers around Toulouse.