A joint venture agreement was signed on Friday between the Tamil Nadu Industrial Development Corporation (TIDCO) and CCCL Infrastructure Limited (CIL) to establish a Rs. 550-crore food processing special economic zone in the Tuticorin district.

Of the total project cost, Rs. 135 crore would be invested towards developing the processing zone during the first phase and the remaining Rs. 415 crore in the next phase towards the non-processing zone. While the first phase would take three years, the other phase would be implemented in five years. The SEZ project was expected to attract investments of about Rs. 2,500 crore and provide employment opportunities for about 10,000 persons, according to an official release.

The Union government had granted formal approval and notified about 294 acres of land to implement the project in Tuticorin.

Deputy Chief Minister M.K. Stalin, who was present at the time of signing of the JV agreement, had made an announcement on the project during his reply to the debate on the demands for grants to the Industries Department.

Rajeev Ranjan, Principal Secretary (Industries) and TIDCO Chairman and R. Sarabeswar, Chairman of CIL, a subsidiary of Consolidated Construction Consortium Limited, signed the agreement.