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Coromandel mulls urea plant in Russia, Middle East

Chennai, Sep 11 (Calcutta Tube) Fertiliser major Coromandel International is looking out for opportunities in Middle East or in Russia to set up a urea plant.

Part of the city-based $3.03 billion industrial conglomerate, Coromandel International will start its retail operations in Karnataka while mulling an entry into farm equipment and drip irrigation.

‘We do not produce urea. However setting up a plant in India is not viable owing to the high gas price. On the other hand, we are looking at Middle East or Russia,’ V. Ravichandran, lead director (fertilisers and sugars) of the Murugappa group said here Wednesday.

He said the company, currently importing and selling farm equipment, is planning to expand business by adding more products as well as look at drip irrigation products.

According to him, the company is also planning to double the paddy farm services – like raising a nursery bed, ploughing, weeding – this fiscal in Andhra Pradesh to around 4,000 acres.

Speaking about expanding retail outlets for farm products, Ravichandran said: ‘We are tweaking the retail model after its success in Andhra Pradesh. There we own all the 425 outlets. But in Karnataka we are looking at franchisee route. We will soon have around 20 outlets in Karnataka.’

According to him, the company is investing around Rs.350 crore on expanding its capacity to 4.2 million tonnes per annum from the current 3.2 million tonnes.

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