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Parakh Foods mulls new refineries

Our Bureau

PUNE, Aug. 29

PARAKH Foods Ltd, the flagship company of the Parakh group, manufacturers of the Gemini brand of refined oil said here on Thursday the company now has the country's largest edible oil refinery situated in a single location, with the commissioning of its new 600 tonne per day (tpd) capacity refinery at Kurkumbh near Pune. The company already has a four 50 tpd refinery at the location, taking total capacity to 1,050 tpd.

Mr Prakash Parakh, Managing Director, said the new refinery and increased capacities would bring it closer to the target of making it a Rs 1,000 crore group by March 2003.

"The new capacities will give a new thrust to the company's overall market reach and growth,'' Mr Parakh said. The company is now in the process of firming up plans to set up a new 600 tpd capacity refinery for its refined oil business and another 200 tpd vanaspati plant, according to Mr Parakh, who also said the project will be underway within the year.

The company is also simultaneously working at increasing its reach and plans to increase its distribution network from 1,500 to 2,500 in the near future.

"With the refined oil segment growing exponentially over the last few years, we have decided to focus on expanding our oil business,'' Mr Parakh said. The company is also the manufacturer of packaged wheat flour, semolina and refined flour under various brand names, with manufacturing facilities in Vashi, Khopoli and Kurkumbh in Maharashtra.

The company's first oil refinery began in 1995 with a capacity of 50 tpd in Kurkumbh and in addition to a 1050 tpd capacity currently also has a 500 tpd solvent extraction plant and a distilled fatty acids plant of 15 tpd. The company invested Rs. 14 .76 crore to enhance capacity at the refinery which will contribute approximately Rs. 800 crore of the total turnover in 2002-03, Mr Parakh said.

Meanwhile, the company is also planning to get into the manufacture of a range of value-added products from the by-products at its Kurkumbh refinery. Mr Parakh said initially, it would manufacture food grade emulsifiers for the choclate, pharmaceutical and cosmetic industry.

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