Vietnam EV firm to set up plant in TN's Thoothukudi

It is for the first time that VinFast is investing in India; battery-manufacturing facility to come up on 400-acre land
Industries Minister TRB Rajaa
Industries Minister TRB Rajaa

CHENNAI: Thoothukudi, one of the southern districts badly hit by flood in 2023, has something to cheer about this year as a Vietnam-based electric vehicle manufacturer, VinFast, has set its eye on the district to set up a battery manufacturing plant. The company is planning to invest hundreds of millions of US dollars for the facility in a 400-acre space, for the first time in India, said sources.

The company initially planned their plant to be set up in Chennai by taking over Ford’s property. But the deal failed as Ford was not willing to sell the land. Sources said that the chief minister was keen to woo the investment to Thoothukudi, which has access to sea and air. This would also help generate jobs for the youth who have been migrating to Chennai and other regions.

It is learnt that the CM deputed Industries Minister TRB Rajaa to reroute the investment to Thoothukudi. VinFast has been in talks with the office of TRB Rajaa since October. He recently rushed with a small team to Vietnam and met the officials of the firm. After two days of negotiations with the delegation which came up with a tailor-made package, VinFast agreed to invest in Thoothukudi.

Established in 2017, the company owns a state-of-the-art automotive manufacturing complex with that boasts up to 90% automation in Hai Phong of Vietnam. VinFast competes with top manufacturers such as Tesla and BYD. The company officials could not be reached for a comment.

The proposed investment is likely to be a game-changer for the Global Investors Meet, scheduled to be held in Chennai on January 7 and 8. It is learnt that the CM is happy about the investment. Wooing Rs 82,674 crore investments in green hydrogen and green ammonia, Thoothukudi has already been emerging as a hub for renewables. V O Chidambaranar Port in the district, set to become the first green hydrogen hub of India, also has the potential to become a transshipment hub with the implementation of the Rs 6,000 crore Outer Harbour project.

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