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ICICI Knowledge Park plans another expansion — Third phase to be ready early next year

C.R. Sukumar

The third phase expansion was estimated to cost Rs 7 crore.

Turkapally (AP) , Nov. 21

AIMED at meeting the growing demand for world class research infrastructure from the foreign as well as domestic research outfits of speciality chemicals, new materials, pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, ICICI Knowledge Park has decided to embark upon yet another expansion.

The 26 ready-to-use modular wet laboratories with a total area of 54,000 square feet constructed in two phases were already acquired on lease by 14 companies engaged in research, nearly 50 per cent of which were focussing on contract research and development, the ICICI Knowledge Park Chief Executive Officer, Ms Deepanwita Chattopadhyay, has told a group of visiting reporters here.

Stating that a few foreign research companies have shown interest in acquiring laboratory infrastructure on lease in the park, Ms Chattopadhyay said the third phase expansion was taken up to build an additional 20,000 sq. ft of laboratory infrastructure to be ready for occupation by the first half of next year.

According to Ms Chattopadhyay, ICICI Knowledge Park has so far invested Rs 39 crore for building infrastructure in the first two phases. Of this, Rs 31 crore has come as interest-free loan, Rs 5.5 crore at one per cent interest and Rs 2.5 crore as revenue grant.

The third phase expansion was estimated to cost Rs 7 crore and ICICI Knowledge Park is currently in a position to meet up to Rs 1.5 crore through internal accruals.

Various options were being considered, including Government funding, for raising the balance funds, she said.

A leading foreign company that evinced keen interest in the Park had pulled out since the lease duration was found unfavourable. As per the Government guidelines, the Park cannot lease out land to companies for construction of own labs for more than 25 years period.

Most of the companies were finding it unattractive and were insisting on having a 99-year lease.

According to Ms Chattopadhyay, the Government is currently considering changes to the lease guidelines.

Of the total 200 acres of space allotted to it, ICICI Knowledge Park proposes to use 90 acres of land for building laboratory infrastructure and have 110 acres for greenery.

Of the 90 acres of infrastructure, 40 acres would be developed by ICICI Knowledge Park and the balance 50 acres would be given to companies to build their own infrastructure.

However, no company would be given more than 10 acres of land.

So far, 15 acres of land was utilised by ICICI Knowledge Park for building the infrastructure, Ms Deepanwita Chattopadhyay said.

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