Home Economy Emami Biotech to invest $80 mn in Ethiopia

Emami Biotech to invest $80 mn in Ethiopia


Kolkata : Emami Biotech, belonging to the Rs.2,000-crore Emami group, will invest Rs.400 crore (around $80 million) in a jatropha plantation project in Oromia in Ethiopia over the next six years, a top company official said here Monday.

“We have already acquired around 30,000 acres and work has begun for jatropha cultivation. For the first phase that we have already started, the investment is around Rs.120 crore,” said Emami director Aditya V. Agarwal at a press conference.

Apart from jatropha, the company will also grow sunflower, castor, pulses and herbs like menthol in the East African country.

“We have chosen Ethiopia for investment because of availability of cheap labour, contiguous land and congenial business environment,” Agarwal said.

Emami Biotech will pump in 30 percent of the project cost, with the rest to be mobilised from banks and financial institutions.

“We are already in talks with Exim Bank, Bank of Baroda, State Bank of India and Corporation Bank. They will either fund the project independently or as a consortium,” he added.

Emami has been allocated a total of 100,000 acres by the Oromia Investment Commission, the nodal agency in Oromia for allotting and distributing land for industrial and agricultural purposes.

The land is being offered on a 45-year renewable lease basis, Agarwal said.

The company believes once operations start in full swing, it would be able to churn out 100,000 tonnes of crude bio-fuel per annum. “The bio-fuel will be exported to India for producing bio-diesel at our own plant at Haldia,” he said.

Emami Biotech currently operates an integrated plant at Haldia in West Bengal with a capacity to produce 1,800 tonnes of edible oil per day and 300 tonnes of bio-diesel from palm oil.