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RSGBL-Roquette JV to develop new food, industrial starch products

Written by: Staff

Ahmedabad, Apr 12 (UNI) Global corn-miller major Rouquette Freres has entered into a strategic collaboration with multi-location Riddhi Siddhi Gluco Biols Limited (RSGBL) to jointly develop high-tech pharma products like Polyols and bio-degradable industrial starch products.

The euro two billion French company's Chairman Marc Roquette, who specially flew in here to seal the tie-up, expressed his desire to increase his company's presence in India, launch new value-added products and to provide technological know-how to set up new plants in India.

RSGBL Chairman Sampatraj L Chowdhary said he was particularly keen to bring the French company's strong research and development (R&D) base at its state-of-the plant at Pondicherry in India. In return, Roquette Freres will source products from India for exports.

Roquette Freres, which has presence in Europe, USA, China and Japan, manufactures over 600 products from six million tonnes of maize, potato and wheat at its plants spread across Europe, USA and lately in Asia. On the other hand, RSGBL produces 35 products.

Talking to media here yesterday, Mr Roquette said that in the wake of limited fossil fuel resources, the French Government was actively encouraging R&D in 'green chemicals' and 'biopolymers', notably Polyols widely used in intra-venous injections and food-grade Maltodextrin as a substitute for sugar.

The French company has also taken 14.95 per cent equity in RSGBL at a consideration of Rs 31.73 crore to part fund a Rs 120 crore plant at Pant Nagar in Uttaranchal to process 1,65,000 tonnes of maize products.

Mr Chowdhary said his company has just acquired the Biopolymer Division of Hindustan Lever Ltd (HLL) in Pondicherry and upgraded the its R&D unit.

It has already initiated development of new products for use in paper, textile and confectionary industry, besides pyrogen-free dextrose for pharmaceutical industries.

RSGBL has also begun developing a host of value-added products at its two other existing plants at Gokak in Karnataka (acquiring KG Gluco Biols from Glaxo) and Viramgam in Gujarat, he said.

Contrary to popular conception, Mr Chowdhary said that starch has a wide range of applications in paper, textile, adhesives and leather industry, besides food and pharmaceuticals.

RSGBL has posted a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 24 per cent from Rs 23.11 crore in FY 1996 to Rs 250 crore in 2005-06, as it is projected to grow at the same rate to Rs 500 crore by 2009-10.


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