"A pre-feasibility study has already been completed, and a few experts have been recruited to mount the project."

Mohan Padmanabhan

Kolkata, Oct. 31

THE Rs 700-crore Emami Group, with major presence in the FMCG sector, has decided to enter the field of biodiesel, and is already in dialogue with various State Governments for jatropha plantations.

An Emami team is set to leave for Europe and US soon to look at plant & machinery for the biodiesel plant.

Talking to Business Line here recently at the sidelines of an interactive session on "Sharing of Success Stories in Manufacturing sector in Bengal", organised by The Bengal Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Mr Aditya Agarwal, Director, Emami Group of Companies, said investments could be in the region of Rs 250 crore for a 1-lakh tonne biodiesel.

He said a concrete picture of the entire manufacturing plan would emerge only after the scouting for suitable plant & machinery was completed. Mr Agarwal, however, stated that Emami was serious about entering the field of biodiesel, and "growing of jatropha trees for this purpose is very much on the cards for us".

He said a pre-feasibility study has already been completed, and a few experts already recruited to mount the project. Asked if the company was also in dialogue with the Railways, which has announced plans to operate biodiesel plants and have invited private participation in growing of jatropha trees, Mr Agarwal replied in the affirmative.

New health care products: Mr Agarwal, who looks after Emami Paper and AMRI Hospitals, in addition to the marketing function at Emami Ltd, said Emami was already planning to introduce a new Health Care range of products, following the launch of the Healthy & Fair Baby Massage Oil recently.

Mr Agarwal said the company markets its products through J.B. Marketing and Finance Ltd, a group outfit, through a nationwide network of 2,200 distributors and 1,200 sub-distributors and 3,70,000 retail outlets.

"We have now adopted a unique scheme of self-employment for extending its distribution to rural areas."

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated November 1, 2005)
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