B'lore consortium to invest in Aussie edible oil refinery

 
The agribusiness venture has been named Riverina Oils & Bio Energy and ranks among the largest value-added greenfield investments by an Indian company in Australia’s eastern seaboard, the promoters said.

The refinery’s construction will commence Sepember 11. Besides offering major new export opportunities for Australian farmers, it will create jobs and generate annual revenue of Australian $150 million ($129 million).

“It is our first overseas venture. When I visited the region two years ago, I was amazed to see the vast agricultural fields, few people and almost no buildings. I realised the region had great potential for agribusiness and decided to invest here,” Bhoruka Group Chairman S N  Agarwal, told IANS.

The 170,000-tonnes a year oilseed crushing and edible oil refining plant will offer farmers in the area new crop opportunities. Initially, the project plant will crush canola, safflower, cottonseed, soybean and sunflower seeds. “The production is expected to start by October 2010,” said Agarwal, who is also chairman of Riverina Oils. The company will export some of its 65,000-tonnes-a year refined vegetable oil output to food industry customers in India, Japan, and other parts of Asia, Europe and the US. Riverina Oils will also produce 105,000 tonnes a year of vegetable protein meal for the Australian poultry, dairy and animal feed industry. Riverina Oils founding partners include Ravi Uppal, who is executive director heading the power division of Larsen and Toubro. State Bank of India is providing the finance - its first greenfield financing project in Australia.

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