Hindustan Insecticides to set up fungicide plant in Maharashtra

As part of its diversification plan, the company is planning to set up a fungicide plant in Maharashtra

State-run Hindustan Insecticides Ltd (HIL) is planning to set up a greenfield plant worth Rs20 crore to produce mancozeb (a fungicide) in Maharashtra as part of its diversification plan, said a senior official from the company.

Mancozeb is used to protect fruit, nut, and field crops from a wide spectrum of fungal diseases.

“There is a very strong demand for mancozeb both globally and in India,” the official said. At present, the demand for insecticides in India is 10,000 tonnes a year.

Another reason for the agro-insecticide company’s plan to set up a plant in Maharashtra is the easy availability of raw materials like ethylenediamine, he added. Currently HIL is importing its feedstock from Marubeni, Japan.

Ethylenediamine, a colourless liquid with an ammonia-like odour, is an organic compound with strong basic amine characteristics.

HIL will set up the plant at Rasayani in Maharashtra which will have a production capacity of 20,000 tonnes of mancozeb annually, the official said. The construction of the plant will begin in early 2011 and will end by 2012, he added.

“The plan is still under preliminary stages and only after the government gives the needed approval, the construction will begin,” the official said.

HIL has sought budgetary support from the Union government which is expected to be granted by May 2010, he added.

According to a research report by brokerage Kisan Ratilal Choksey Shares and Securities Pvt Ltd, the Indian agrichemical industry is estimated to be around Rs5,000 crore at the end of FY09. The reports said that in FY09, the industry as a whole witnessed marginal volume decline, but saw a price increase of 10%-12%.

The prospects of the agrochemicals industry look promising as there is a growing need to protect farm produce from pests, KR Choksey’s report said.

HIL has a production unit at Kochi that produces mancozeb along with DDT, dicofol and endosulfan.

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