To invest $350 million in plantation, pulp project

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Pulp plans


The group

has leased 50,000 hectares from the Government of Laos for a 75-year period.

The project

is to be implemented in two phases, first the plantation phase and second the setting up of the dissolving pulp plant.

Mumbai, March 17

The Aditya Birla group today announced an investment of $350 million (Rs 1,550 crore) in Lao People's Democratic Republic (Laos) for setting up of a project to raise pulp wood species plantations and a pulp plant for its viscose staple fibre business.

Grasim Industries Ltd, Thai Rayon Public Co Ltd and PT Indo Bharat Rayon of Indonesia, companies within the Aditya Birla Group, will invest in this project as equity holders.

The Group said it has secured 50,000 hectares of land from the Government of Laos on lease for a 75-year period.

Eucalyptus plantations which would be raised on the land would provide the feed for the pulp plant. The project is to be implemented in two phases, first the plantation phase and second the setting up of the dissolving pulp plant, given that eucalyptus plantations normally have a growth cycle of 7 years.

The commissioning of the pulp plant would coincide with the harvest of the first plantation the seventh year. The pulp produced in Laos would be exported to the group's rayon fibre manufacturing units in India, Thailand and Indonesia as well as newer locations.

"This integrated plantation and pulp plant project with a 200,000 tonnes per annum capacity is a forward step, planned ahead of time to ensure that our future expansion needs are met," the group said in a news release quoting its Chairman, Mr Kumar Mangalam Birla.

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(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated March 18, 2006)
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