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E.I.D. Parry to invest Rs 100 cr in sugar unit

Our Bureau

Chennai , July 29

E.I.D. Parry (India) Ltd plans to invest about Rs 80 crore to Rs 100 crore in its sugar division over the next couple of years to set up a cogeneration plant and a refinery for sugar and ethanol.

Addressing shareholders here on Friday, the company's Chairman, Mr S.M. Dutta, said that E.I.D. Parry will continue to restructure its businesses while retaining focus on sugar, sanitaryware and bio-products. All these divisions are looking up and the outlook is optimistic for the current year.

The company, which recently divested its stake in confectionery business, has also transferred the Netlon business and general marketing to Parry's Engineering as of July.

Parryware, the sanitaryware division, is being upgraded. With the construction industry looking up and Parryware acquiring the super brand status, the division is set to expand, Mr Dutta said.

The bio-products division is doing well with demand for its products picking up in the US and in the domestic market. It is also looking at diversifying its product range, he said.

The sugar division, despite the shortage in sugarcane output due to drought, is expected to do well. The company is supplementing sugarcane with raw sugar imports. A cogeneration unit is to come up at Pugalur; the distillery at Nellikuppam has recommenced operations; and the company is looking at marketing branded sugar, Mr Dutta said.

Responding to shareholders' queries, Mr Dutta said that prospects for ethanol marketing in the non-pottable segment has improved with ethanol being used in blending with automobile fuel. The company has decided to exit acetic acid and ethylacetate production because ethanol was no longer a viable raw material.

Mr A. Vellayan, Vice-Chairman, E.I.D. Parry, said that over the next two years the company is looking at major investments in the sugar division. Parryware will be modernised and capacity expanded. It would soon start making water taps under the Parryware brand, he said. Coromandel Fertilisers Ltd, in which E.I.D. Parry holds a major stake, is not likely to be hit by the continued drought since more than 80 per cent of its market has not been affected by the drought.

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