Companies

Coromandel SQM sets up water-soluble fertiliser plant

Our Bureau Hyderabad Jan. 11 | Updated on January 11, 2012 Published on January 11, 2012

Mr. Kapil Mehan , Managing Director of Coromandel International, flanked by Mr Frank Biot (right), President, SQM (Europe), and Mr Olaf Rietveld, Sales Director (Asia Pacific), at a press conference in Hyderabad on Wednesday. -- P.V. Sivakumar.

Coromandel group teams up with Chile's SQM to set up India's first such plant





India's first water-soluble fertiliser plant is all set to go into commercial production at Coromandel International's Kakinada plant in Andhra Pradesh.

The 15,000-tonne-per-annum capacity plant has been set up by a 50:50 joint venture between Coromandel, part of the Rs 17,000-crore Murugappa Group, and SQM of Chile, a global water-soluble speciality plant nutrition solutions provider.

Water-soluble fertilisers are crop specific products designed to increase yield and quality of agri-products and involve relatively lower labour, power and water requirements. Currently, India consumes about 70,000 tonnes, all of which is imported.

“We will be initially focussing on vegetables, fruits, cotton, chilli and sugarcane crops. Although our products can be used for wheat and rice production as well, we will concentrate on these crops as we expand our plant capacity,” Mr V. Ravichandran, Lead Director of Coromandel International, told mediapersons here.

The joint venture entity, Coromandel SQM, is currently conducting research to come out with crop specific blended water soluble fertiliser products to suit the climatic conditions of India.

“We will be launching the speciality blended products in the next three to five months,” he said.

Coromandel has been marketing about 10,000 tonnes of imported water-soluble products in India. While DAP prices are about Rs 38,000 a tonne (including a subsidy component of Rs 19,000) currently, the water soluble products have a price tag ranging between Rs 60,000 and Rs 100,000 a tonne.

No price hikes

Coromandel is not likely to further raise its fertiliser prices for the rest of the fiscal.

“We have received our requirement of imported DAP, so we will not be impacted by currency fluctuations. Also, the existing subsidy level will continue up to March 31. So we do not see any likelihood of further increase in our prices,” Mr Kapil Mehan, Coromandel's Managing Director, told Business Line.

The company had revised prices twice this fiscal, the last one being about 17 per cent in October 2011. “That increase was to cover the impact of the rupee slide on our import costs,” he said.

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Published on January 11, 2012
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