Balrampur Chini announces ₹2,000 crore capex in India's first industrial bioplastic

The project will be located on a "greenfield site", beside an existing sugar plant

February 19, 2024 11:13 pm | Updated February 20, 2024 08:09 am IST - Kolkata

Balrampur Chini Mills Limited (BCML), a leading integrated sugar mill company on February 19 announced a ₹2,000 crore forward integration project which will be the first-ever "industrial bioplastic" plant in India.

The Kolkata-based company said this diversification with its upcoming PLA (Polylactic Acid) manufacturing venture is well-aligned with the sustainability goals envisioned in India, to combat climate change.

"The new project aims to propel India towards net zero emissions by 2070 with an estimated investment of ₹2,000 crore in phases over the next 30 months," Balrampur Chini Executive Director Avantika Saraogi said.

"Expected to be completed within 30 months, the new venture will mark the establishment of the first-ever industrial bioplastic plant in India. The state-of-the-art PLA factory will command a whopping capacity at a global scale of 75,000 tonne per annum," the company said.

Despite not yet being finalized, the project will be located on a "greenfield site", beside an existing sugar plant. There are about ten sugar mills owned by the company, all of which are in Uttar Pradesh.

Officials said, a significant proportion of the local infrastructure already exists at the sugar mill locations and it will help efficient usage of sugar as a raw material, to produce PLA.

"PLA provides a sustainable alternative to traditional plastics, supporting our eco-friendly initiatives and advancing our business model towards sustainability.

Balrampur Chini's project aims to lead the way in reducing carbon emissions and promoting innovation in plastic production," Balrampur Chini CMD Vivek Saraogi said.

The new venture is also facilitated by BCML's minority stake acquisition in Konkan Speciality Polyproducts Private Limited (Konspec), a notable player in the sphere of specialty polymers & biopolymers, intermediaries, and chemicals, the statement said.

The bioplastics marks the onset of a significant shift from the current linear consumption manufacturing paradigm to the one, led by circular and regenerative principles. Additionally, most of India's current SUP (Single Use Plastic) consumption and its respective applications can be replaced by PLA and PLA compounds, officials said.

"We see the utilisation of sugar as a raw material in PLA production as pivotal for a sustainable future. Through the PLA project, our goal is to not only drive financial growth but also redefine standards in India's sustainable economic landscape," Mr. Saraogi said.

The company said it has roped in Stefan Barot as the President (Chemicals) and a member of the senior management personnel, who brings over 35 years of diverse global experience, including 13 years in the bioplastic sector.

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