Edible oil maker Lohiya group, with its flagship brands Gold Drop and Gold Plus, is setting up a new refinery plant in Nellore in Andhra Pradesh with an investment of Rs 500 crore.

“We are expecting land allotment from the Andhra Pradesh Industrial Infrastructure Corporation and hope to start operations in the first phase of the proposed plant in about 10 months from now,’’ Mahaveer Lohiya, Managing Director of the group, told newspersons here on Wednesday.

While the first phase of the plant will involve Rs 100-crore investment to create 500 tonnes of additional capacity, the total investment in the subsequent phases will go up to Rs 500 crore in next two to three years, he said.

The Rs 2,200-crore company, which commands over 55 per cent share in the branded market in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, is present in 10 states, including those in the north. “We will expand to the pan-India market once the new capacity from the Nellore plant comes on stream,’’ he said.

Lohiya now operates two refineries at Kakinada and Mankhal and has a total capacity of 1,335 tonnes per day.

The company also released its Gold Drop in new colours and packaging to mark the silver jubilee of the brand today.

India consumes 20 million tonnes of edible oil every year, of which sunflower oil accounts for 2.5 million tonnes. About 50 per cent of this is imported.