Business

Apex Coco unit commences production

More in store: The facility employs about 450 people and processes about 40,000 coconuts a day.

More in store: The facility employs about 450 people and processes about 40,000 coconuts a day.   | Photo Credit: M. Periasamy

The ₹220-cr. plant churns out 9 coconut-based products; eyes ₹1,000-cr. output

Apex Coco and Solar Energy, promoted by a group of garment exporters from Tiruppur, has commenced the commercial production of nine coconut-based products, all under one roof.

Established with an investment of ₹220 crore, the integrated coconut processing plant is said to be the first-of- its-kind in India.

‘5 lakh a day’

Located at Ponnapuram, about 60 km from the knitwear hub, Tiruppur, Apex has the capacity to process five lakh coconuts a day.

The facility produces food and non-food products. Under the food category are coconut water, coconut milk, desiccated coconut, virgin coconut oil and coconut flour. The non-food products are coir pith, coir fibre, charcoal and composting medium. Non-edible coconut oil is a by-product and there are plans to make coir wood too.

Currently, the facility employs 450 people and processes about 40,000 coconuts a day.

“We source from traders coconuts that are 50 to 55 days old and at present, the focus is on business-to-business contracts,” says Raja M. Shanmugham, one of the nine directors of the firm.

The project was initiated in 2016 and was commissioned three months ago. “We have obtained 16 certificates for the products from Indian and international agencies,” he says.

Almost all the processes are automated and the machinery are mostly imported. For some processes, the machinery is customised.

“We are looking at domestic and export markets. We hope to cross a turnover of ₹1,000 crore in two years. The main challenge is in creating awareness on the benefits of coconut products, especially in the food category,” Mr. Shanmugam said.

The plant has facilities to produce variants in coconut milk and oil, as required by the customers.

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Printable version | Feb 21, 2020 5:00:58 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/business/apex-coco-unit-commences-production/article29103256.ece

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