Sunpure, a leading edible oil brand in the south, plans to invest ₹365 crore in the next two years for expansion. It is also exploring production of mustard in Rajasthan. It is setting up a ₹250 crore palm refining and bio diesel unit in Mangalore; a ₹100 crore refinery in South Maharashtra and a crushing investment in Karnataka at a cost of ₹15 crore.

Palm oil refining and oleochemical unit

The company is developing a palm oil refining unit along with aoleochemical unit (used for the production of cosmetics and lubricants), bakery fats and a biodiesel plant in Mangalore. The unit spread across 100 acres will be functional by March 2023, said Gokaran Singh Pawar, General Manager, Sales, Sunpure. During FY22, Sunpure’s revenue was at ₹2,700 crore, and in the current fiscal, it is expected to be over ₹3,000 crore, he told BusinessLine.

The company is setting up a unit for sunflower oil and soybean oil refining in southern Maharashtra, and expected to be functional by March 2025, he said.

Groundnut oil

Sunpure is also investing in groundnut oil unit in Karnataka. The groundnut is grown in abundance, and can be a perfect alternative to sunflower oil. Before southern India was introduced to palm or sunflower oils, the groundnut oil was consumed the most. “Our attempt is to go back to our roots and encourage the production of alternative oils,” he added.

Of the one lakh tonnes of edible oil sold in the south monthly, Sunpure sells around 15,000 tonnes. “Our aim is to increase it to 25,000 tonne in the next few years with our existing capacity of refining,” he said.

On prices

Elaborating on the uncertainty over the price of edible oil in the last few months, Pawar said that prices shot up by 50 per cent after the first few days of the Russia-Ukraine conflict. However, the Centre’s decision to reduce duty from 38.5 per cent to 0 per cent on the import of sunflower and soybean oils by issuing a Tariff Rate Quota was a big relief to manufacturers and consumers.

“In the last one year, the Government’s timely intervention and duty cuts have helped us to bring the price down. We have been proactively passing on the benefit to our customers,” he added.

“We reduced our MRP by ₹30 to ₹220 per litre. Our newly designed refined groundnut oil will also be priced at ₹ 220. We are closely monitoring the global and domestic situation and will decide on any further changes in the best interest of our consumers,” he said.

Sunpure has manufacturing facilities at Bangalore, Mandya and Chitradurga. It has a total refining capacity of 1000 tonnes per day distributed as 500 tonne each between Mandya and Bangalore and an additional 500 tonnes of solvent extraction (food grade) capacity, he said.