Indian investors visit Ingham to discuss $ 425m mill
R E P R E S E N T A T I V E S o f Indian businesses partnering Herbert River interests developing a $ 425 million multi-product mill at Ingham visited the town by charter aircraft this week for discussions and to meet area cane growers.
The sugar, ethanol and power-generation mill is earmarked for a site on Como Road, about 4km south of Ingham, and is planned by North Queensland Bio Energy, a company chaired by accountant and area farmer Robert Carey.
It is backed by Dhampur Sugar Mills and Shree Capital, whose respective managing directors, Gautam Goel and Rahul Nayar, flew in from India for meetings with the NQBE board.
Mr Carey said yesterday discussions centred around a detailed project timetable and other issues to ensure the mill could be ready to start operations for the 2014 harvesting season.
A development application has been lodged with Hinchinbrook Shire Council for the mill, which will create 230-250 full-time jobs and prov i d e a d d i t i o n a l r e v e n u e streams for growers.
‘‘ NQBE has been working with DSM and Shree Capital for more than two years and, during visits to DSM factories, we have been impressed with their design and efficiency,’’ Mr Carey said.
‘‘ DSM has played a key role in assisting with design of the NQBE mill, which is similar to state-of-the-art sugar, ethanol and power generation projects that have been operating successfully for more than 10 years in India, Thailand, Vietnam, Argentina and Brazil.’’
Mr Carey said Shree Capital was playing a key role in the NQBE project by assisting with funding options.
He said the two managing directors had also met with NQBE shareholders at a Wednesday night function with a Q& A opportunity.
‘‘ DSM is one of India’s l o n g e s t e s t a b l i s h e d a n d largest producers of sugarcane derivatives, with multif u n c t i o n f a c t o r i e s i n D h a m p u r , A s m o l i , Mansurpur and Rajpura and is at the forefront in sugar/ ethanol/ power factory design,’’ Mr Carey said.
‘‘ It is looking to grow its business outside India and sees the NQBE project as an attractive opportunity.’’