<p>Coromandel SQM (CSQM), a 50:50 joint venture between Coromandel International Limited (CIL) of the Chennai-based Murugappa group and SQM of Chile, is all set to commence commercial production of its 15,000-tonne a year capacity water soluble fertiliser plant at Kakinada.
The company management said that the plant, set up at a cost of Rs 10 crore, was completed and production would start shortly.
The joint venture company, which offers a wide range of speciality plant nutrition solutions, foresees a stronger growth for water soluble fertilisers in India in the coming years.
“Currently, the demand for water soluble fertilisers in the country is 70,000 tonnes and this market is expected to grow at a rate of 25-30 per cent a year,” CIL lead director, V Ravichandran, said.
Stating that CIL was already selling 10,000 tonnes of water soluble fertilisers,
he said the capacity of the new plant could be doubled to meet the growing demand for such products in the country.
According to CIL managing director Kapil Mehan, though the cost of CSQM products is higher than that of the traditional fertilisers, the farmer will be able to save more as he would be using less quantity, less labour and yet realise better and high quality yields.
CIL president, Raviprasad, said the new products would cost Rs 70,000-100,000 per tonne as most of the raw material was being imported. Thus, the company was expecting a turnover of around Rs 120 crore a year to begin with.
The company would have a healthy bottomline as the margins would be in the range of 20-25 per cent higher than other fertilisers.
Initially, CSQM would be focusing on vegetable, cotton, sugarcane and chilli crops. Frank Biot of SQM, however, said efforts were also on for production of special blends that would be suitable for rice and wheat crops in India.
“ We are expecting to come out with such products in 3-5 months,” lead director Ravichandran added lead director.