The Aditya Birla group has decided to invest $350 million in Laos in South East Asia to develop plantations and a pulp plant. The group has obtained 50,000 hectares of land from the government of Laos on a 75-year lease.
The group is planning to raise eucalyptus plantations on the leased land. In the first phase of the project, the group would raise the plantations to be followed by the construction of pulp mill. As eucalyptus trees take around seven years to reach optimum growth, the pulp mill will come up only before the first harvest from the plantation.
The pulp plant would have a capacity of 200,000-tonnes per annum and the pulp will be exported to the group's viscose staple fibre (VSF) or rayon fibre manufacturing units in countries such as India, Thailand and Indonesia.
Group companies Grasim Industries in India, Thai Rayon in Thailand and Indo-Bharat Rayon in Indonesia will invest in the Laos venture.
Aditya Birla group is one of the largest players in the production of VSF globally. The group has seven fibre manufacturing plants in four countries with a total capacity of 775,000 tonnes per annum.