Tata Chemicals joint venture Khetse to invest Rs212 crore

Mumbai: Khetse Agriproduce India, Tata Chemicals' joint venture with Ireland-based Total Produce, will invest Rs212 crore in the next five years to enter the wholesale business of fruits and vegetables in the country.

''The 50:50 joint venture, Khetse Agriproduce India, will invest almost Rs212-crore for setting up 20 cash-and-carry distribution centres," Tata Chemicals managing director Homi R Khusrokhan said.

Khetse set up its first collection-cum-distribution centre and cash-and-carry outlet in Ludhiana. The company will set up a second center in Mumbai, followed by 20 more units across the country depending on acquisition of land, Khusrokhan said.

The centres would collect fresh fruits and vegetables directly from farmers by paying them market price and then distribute the products through the Khetse cah-and-carry centres.

The company also plans to invest Rs50 crore in a biofuel facility at Nanded. The construction of the ethanol plant having capacity of 30 kilolitres per day is expected to be operational by end-this year.       

He said the Rs200 crore debottlenecking of the urea plant at Babrala is expected to be completed by the end of this calendar year, adding it will raise the urea capacity from 8,65,000 tonne to 1.2-million tonnes.

Tata Chemicals today reported a consolidated profit-after-tax of Rs107.04 crore for the first quarter of the current fiscal, down 22 per cent from the  Rs137.38-crore reported in the corresponding period a year ago.