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ISRO and Kerala Minerals and Metals Limited sign MoU

As part of efforts to indigenously produce strategic materials for its space programme, ISRO’s Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC), Thiruvananthapuram, in India has signed a MoU with Government of Kerala Undertaking, Kerala Minerals and Metals Limited (KMML), Chavara for establishing a 500 tonne per annum Titanium Sponge Plant. The Defence Metallurgical Research Laboratory, Hyderabad, has developed the technology for the titanium sponge plant. Dr B N Suresh, Director, VSSC, and Shri K P Rajendran, Managing Director, KMML, at Thiruvananthapuram, signed the MOU on January 2, 2006 in the presence of Shri G Madhavan Nair, Chairman, ISRO, and Shri T Balakrishnan, Principal Secretary, Industries, Govt. of Kerala. Titanium Sponge is used for the production of aerospace grade Titanium. It is a scarce raw material and is being imported so far. The present MOU is expected to give a thrust for titanium production in the country. As per the MOU, the production plant will be set up at KMML with necessary infrastructure to upgrade the plant to produce 1000 tonne per year at a cost of Rs 95 Crore funded by ISRO.