Kohinoor Mandal

Kolkata, Feb. 8

BEEYU Overseas Ltd, a city-based company operating mostly as a bought leaf factory in the South, is all set to develop speciality, organic and green tea to have a complete range of products.

According to Mr Charan Hegde, General Manager of Beeyu Overseas, the company, which already produces CTC and orthodox teas, will start producing organic and speciality teas by next year.

At present, it produces approximately 30 lakh tonnes of tea per annum. Of this 15 lakh tonnes is CTC and the rest is orthodox. The company also owns a tea garden of around 48 acres along with the factory.

Almost 90 per cent of the green leaves required by Beeyu's factory is supplied by local villagers. The rest is plucked from its own garden.

"We are going to use the leaves of our garden for producing green tea, organic tea and speciality tea. We are already in the process of preparing our garden in that manner. The necessary certificates will come soon," Mr Hegde said.

Beeyu will be producing small quantities of speciality and organic teas but it is likely to fetch a high price. These products are in great demand in the German and UK markets. According to Mr Hegde, the company is likely to produce 80,000 kg to one lakh kg of speciality teas.

Meanwhile, the company is also increasing the capacity of its tea factory in Ooty. From 3,000 tonnes per annum, the capacity will be raised to 6,000 tonnes in the first phase, and then, in the second phase, to 9,000 tonnes per annum.

Of the total capacity, 5,000 tonnes would be for CTC tea and the rest, 4,000 tonnes, would be for orthodox tea. With the expanded capacity in place, the cost of conversion from green leaf to tea will come down to Rs 8 per kg from Rs 12 per kg. The cost of the project is Rs 13 crore.

Beeyu Overseas is planning to come out with its second public issue of Rs 10 crore soon. The company will be taking term loans from State of Bank of India worth Rs 3 crore.

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated February 9, 2005)
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