Agri Business

Cargill India to pump $40 million more into its corn unit in Karnataka

Vishwanath Kulkarni Bengaluru | Updated on September 27, 2018

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Cargill India proposes to expand its corn processing facility in Karnataka by adding more product lines over the next 12-18 months and expects to increase sourcing of maize from growers in the region.

The company is making an additional investment of about $40 million (about ₹290 crore at the current exchange rate) to start the manufacturing of modified starches targeted at industrial use — mainly textiles — at its corn milling plant in Davangere, Siraj Chaudhary, Chairman, Cargill India, said.

Cargill, which set up a wet corn milling plant in Davangere in 2016 with an investment of $100 million, currently manufactures corn products such as liquid glucose, maltodextrin and starches. These corn derivatives are used in the manufacture of confectioneries, bakery products, baby food and animal nutrition products among others.

Capacity enhancement

Simon George, President, Cargill India, said the company currently processes about 800 tonnes of corn per day at the Davangere unit.

The proposed expansion will increase its processing capacity to 1,200 tonnes per day. The company also expects to increase the capacity utilisation of its processing unit to around 90 per cent by May from the current 75 per cent.

Also, Cargill expects to almost double its sourcing of corn from farmers to around 400,000 tonnes from the current 200,000 tonnes to support its capacity expansion, George said. The company sources about 80 per cent of its corn requirement from farmers in Karnataka and the rest from Andhra Pradesh and Bihar.

Cargill India is also looking to increase the export of its corn products. At present, about 24 per cent of the corn derivatives manufactured by the Davangere unit are exported to countries such as Indonesia, Vietnam and Malaysia. “We expect to increase our exports to around 40 per cent,” George said.

It also proposes to buy a 26 per cent stake in renewable energy firms, from whom it will be purchasing about 10 MW power to meet the energy requirement of its corn processing plant. “We are in advanced talks with at least three players that produce renewable energy and expect to complete the deal over the next few months,” he said.

Published on September 27, 2018

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