Launching the third edition of the Ground Breaking Ceremony (GBC 3.0), the Government of Uttar Pradesh called it one of the best investment opportunities for the big names in the industry. Amid this, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath have announced some of the biggest projects with an aim to transform the state into a manufacturing hub. Exploring the state’s transformation, Tarannum Manjul of Elets News Network (ENN) sheds light on the biggest projects announced at GBC 3.0 and their impact on UP’s development.
The GBC 3.0, held on 3rd June 2022, was chaired by PM Modi and top industrialists including Gautam Adani, Kumar Mangalam Birla, Niranjan Hiranandani, Naresh Trehan, Pirozshaw Godrej, Ahmed El Sheikh, and others, attended the ceremony. The occasion saw the presentation of projects worth more than Rs 80,000 crore.
Investments to set up data centres across UP
At the GBC 3.0, over 25 per cent of investments were made for setting up data centres across the state. This includes mega investments from NIDP (Hiranandani Group), Adani Enterprises, Sify Technologies, NTT Netmagic, and STT Global for establishing data centres, particularly in Gautam Buddha Nagar district. The state government’s favourable policies facilitate investments for the projects and establish the emergence of UP as a global hub of data centres.
Post-COVID pandemic, the data centre industry has gained worldwide importance. The pandemic posed an eye-opener for the governmet and the industry to realise the significane of data and digital infrastructure as an essential utility for any economy. Eyeing the opportunity in the sector, the UP government proactively initiated various measures to attract investments for setting up data centres across the state. The government launched a progressive Data Centre Policy in 2021 after a rigorous stakeholder consultation with industry partners and sector experts. The policy aims at attracting investments worth Rs 20,000 crore and developing a 250 MW Data Centre Industry in the state. The policy provides attractive benefits including capital subsidy up to Rs 10 crore, land subsidy up to Rs 75 crore, stamp duty exemption, electricity duty exemption, and subsidy on interest. Besides this, dual grid power supply to the first three data centre parks, and exemption of transmission & wheeling charges is also provided.
The UP government was taking these initiatives even as the world was grappling with the economic slowdown largely due to the pandemic. A dedicated Helpdesk was set up to actively handhold the investors and facilitate their investment plans in Uttar Pradesh. The state government also issued an order to provide mandatory land allotment to mega investors within 15 days of application on fast track mode.
As a result, a series of investments for the data centre industry have made their way to Uttar Pradesh. The biggest in the row was Hiranandani Group, which has invested Rs 9,000 crore in Greater Noida to set up a world-class data centre on over 20 acres in Uttar Pradesh. The proposal from Hiranandani Group was received in August 2020. The state government allotted land on fast-track mode by October 2020 and provided all clearances/ NoCs to the project by February 2021. The project is under construction and is likely to commence commercial operations by August this year. The Group further plans to invest Rs 1000 crore per year in the coming five years in Uttar Pradesh on data centres.
The Adani Group is also coming up with a data centre with investment of Rs 5,100 crores, followed by Sify Technologies investing Rs 2,700 crore. In addition, Japan’s NTT Global has decided to invest Rs 1,700 crore while Singapore’s STT Global will be investing Rs 1,100 crore for setting up data centres in the state.
Upscaling production of BrahMos Aerospace missiles
BrahMos Aerospace will manufacture 80 to 100 new BrahMos missiles every year at their Lucknow facility starting from mid-2024. With the joint efforts of the Government of India and CM Yogi, Uttar Pradesh is on its way to become a defence production hub of the country.
According to Atul D Rane, CEO and Managing Director (MD), BrahMos Aerospace, “Construction work is in full swing in Lucknow. Production of the current version of BrahMos can start once the facility is set up. Assuming all things are smooth in the set up and professional attestation of the facility, the first BrahMos of the current version can be rolled out by mid 2024.”
The BrahMos missile, to be manufactured in Lucknow’s node of the Defence Corridor, was the center of attraction at the exhibition. The PM paid special attention and couldn’t take his eyes off the state-of-the-art BrahMos missile autonomous launcher. Apart from this, there were 110 stalls in the exhibition at the venue of GBC 3.0 in the state capital on June 3.
He further informed, “The feasibility study of the missile is nearing completion, once these preliminary studies are over, a detailed design of the system will start. If things go smooth, the joint venture of Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) India and NPOM of Russia has planned to finish detailed designing within two years followed by trials.”
The timeline to roll out the future generation of missiles (BRAHMOS- NG) will be 5-7 years from now. This new manufacturing hub will empower the missile industry consortium in-country and will help to create an ecosystem for futuristic weapons and technology within the state and the country.
BrahMos Aerospace has planned to deliver 80-100 missiles a year from the Lucknow facility. “Numbers are highly dependent on the orders we receive,” Rane said.
The (DRDO) is establishing a BrahMos manufacturing centre in the state capital. Spread across an area of 200 acres, BrahMos Aerospace will manufacture the world’s best supersonic cruise missile system designated as BrahMos-NG that can be launched from submarine, ship, aircraft, or land.
The manufacturing centre will be a modern, state-of-art facility. The foundation stone for the centre, along with that for the Defence Technology and Test Centre (DTTC), was laid by the Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on 26th December 2021.
The BrahMos-NG is smaller, lighter and has sharper dimensions. It is being designed for deployment on a wider number of modern military platforms. The system will hugely bolster the Indian military’s modern combat capability and agility during the next few years.
The project will provide direct employment to about 500 engineers and technicians. Apart from this, 5,000 people will get indirect employment. With the establishment of ancillary units related to the defence industry, about 10,000 people will get employment.
Major projects to boost UP’s development
In a step towards making Uttar Pradesh an economic power across the globe, the Chairman of Adani Group, Gautam Adani, pledged to invest Rs 64,000 crore over the investments made at the GBC. This investment will include the establishment of a Solar Power Plant in Mirzapur, South Asia’s largest ammunition complex in Kanpur, multimodal logistics, and industrial clusters along Lucknow-Agra and Purvanchal Expressways.
Stating that CM Yogi is building a foundation for building UP’s trillion dollar economy, Adani said that the simple, restrained, and disciplined lifestyle of CM Yogi and his ability to make decisions and effectively execute them is exemplary. The spirit of cooperation and professionalism among the officers is also commendable. While addressing GBC 3.0, earlier, he stated, “Our large investments are the sign of confidence that Uttar Pradesh of today will define India of tomorrow.”
Elaborating on the investment of Rs 6000 crore, Adani said that it has been proposed to set up a data centre business. A total investment of Rs 70,000 crore from billionaire and industrialist Gautam Adani-led Adani Group in the state will also provide direct and indirect employment to around 30,000 people.
It is noteworthy that PM Modi attended the GBC 3.0. During the event, he laid the foundation stone of 1406 projects worth over Rs 80,000 crore.
A France-based leading industrial gas company Air Liquide announced a huge investment of Rs 350 crore at the GBC 3.0 in Uttar Pradesh. While thanking CM Yogi Adityanath for inviting him to the grand event, the company’s vice president Matthieu Eyries said, “It is an honour and great pleasure to represent Air Liquide at this event.”
“This will be the fifth oxygen production unit to be built and operated by Air Liquide in India. This illustrates our renewed commitment towards Uttar Pradesh… These new plants located in Mathura will reproduce 350 tons of oxygen, nitrogen and Argon and enhance our capacity to serve our customers in North India, boosting the state economy and creating job opportunities,” he added.
Explaining further about their plans, Eyries said that the Air Liquide plant will help the state in meeting the medical oxygen demand. “In particular, our products would be used for manufacturing applications such as welding, cutting, environmental preservation, and wastewater treatment. We contribute to the decarbonisation of sectors, like the cement industry,” he said, adding, “The Air Liquide Group is committed to sustainability objectives, with a reduction of one-third of its CO2 emission by 2035 and the achievement of carbon neutrality by 2050. In this regard, our commitment is to start operating the plant in Mathura with 40 percent green energy.”
Calling it a privilege to be a part of the UP community, Matthieu Eyries said, “We are really looking forward to a successful partnership with the citizens, the businesses and the authorities for many years to come. I would like to thank the authorities while working rigorously to make this region, a preferred destination for foreign investors. This could only be possible due to the constant collaboration between our respective teams and the frame of the oxygen production promotion policy launched by the UP government.”
“We were able to expedite the funding of this project together with strong financial support. I wish to specifically mention and thank the professionalism and constant support from the Department of Industries, Invest UP, Nivesh Mitra, and Mathura administration,” he added.
Further, he also promised a strong commitment towards progressive investments in India in the upcoming years. “We are keen to work for the people of India. We will proudly advocate India as an attractive business destination to various global companies,” he concluded.