Said to be the company's largest manufacturing facility in Asia-Pacific region, the first phase of the project will become functional by 2015 with an investment of Rs 1,000 crore and produce about one lakh tonnes of the famous Cadbury chocolates, according to the company's Managing Director Manu Anand.
The MoU was signed by Anand and state Industries Principal Secretary K Pradeep Chandra in the presence of Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy, Major Industries Minister J Geeta Reddy and others.
Manufacturing unit will be at Sri City Special Economic Zone in Chittoor
The Chief Minister also laid the foundation-stone for the manufacturing facility on the occasion. "The manufacturing facility will come up on 134 acres of land in Sri City SEZ in four phases and will have an overall production capacity of 2.5 lakh tonnes by 2020. In the first phase we will produce chocolates and other products in the subsequent phases. All these products will be for domestic consumption only but a small portion could also be exported," Anand said.
At the function, Chief Minister Kiran Reddy said the Cadbury facility would not only provide direct employment to 1,600 persons but would also help over 4.5 lakh dairy farmers in Chittoor district. "Cadbury requires about five lakh litres of milk and 100 tonnes of sugar per day for its first phase operations. This will give a big boost to the local farmers and help dairying in the district besides helping the sugar industry grow," he said.
Reddy said Andhra Pradesh has emerged as the best investment destination for industries as the investors saw good prospects. "They don't come here for charity. They set up shop only after studying the industry and investment conditions in all parts of the state. We don't require Harvard or any others to certify us as an investment destination. The companies themselves are certifying us," the Chief Minister remarked.
The Major Industries Minister said the state government planned to develop a women-oriented industrial estate in each district headquarters to encourage women entrepreneurs.
"In the last three years, AP received investment proposals to the tune of Rs 1.35 lakh crore. Of the 115 MoUs we signed with various companies, most have completed their projects while some are progressing. Only a few have dropped out for various reasons," she said.
"Regardless of the atmosphere around, major companies are coming into the state to open their units," the Minister said, referring to the ongoing crisis over the state bifurcation.