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Rubco embarks on Rs 1,300-cr expansion, diversification plans news
Sajeev Nair
02 September 2003
Mumbai: Rubber Cooperative Ltd (Rubco), a major cooperative body for promoting rubber-based products in Kerala, is embarking on an expansion and diversification programme, for which the body is seeking an amount of Rs 1,300 crore, mainly from foreign financial institutions (FFIs).

The expansion programme includes setting up a tyre plant and a sports shoe manufacturing facility in the state, while the diversification plans include venturing into manufacturing of coir-based products and starting coconut oil mills in the state, says Rubco chairman E Narayanan.

Rubco is in negotiations with certain FFIs based in Singapore and the UK for loans, and discussions are in final stages, says Narayanan. "The work on the projects will begin within two months."

The body expects an outlay of Rs 750 crore for setting up the tyre-making unit, while Rubco has received assurances from the US-based company for buying shoes from its to-be-commissioned facility. Rubco plans to set up the shoe-making unit in Thalassery, near Kozhikode.

Rubco is also planning to set up another rubber-based products factory in Thalassery, says Narayanan. The cooperative body expects these initiatives to generate additional 10,000 jobs. At present, Rubco employs around 1,300 personnel in its different manufacturing units, including those in rubber sandals, cycle tyres and tubes and rubber-wood furniture facilities.

As part of its diversification plan, four factories with coconut as raw materials will be set up. Rubco also plans to set up 500 coconut oil mills and a coir manufacturing unit, which will provide raw materials for the company''s mattress plant in Kottayam.

A unit to make soft drinks, based on coconut water, will be set up in the state, with technical help from an Oman-based company, says Narayanan. "A memorandum of understanding has been signed in this regard."

A factory for the production of activated carbon from coconut shell is also on cards and Rubco has signed an agreement with a US-based company for technology transfer for the carbon unit.

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Rubco embarks on Rs 1,300-cr expansion, diversification plans