Tata Coffee opens extraction unit at Tamil Nadu's Theni

Bangalore, June 19 (IANS) Asia's largest plantation firm Tata Coffee Wednesday unveiled its premium extraction plant at Theni near Madurai in Tamil Nadu to process the beans into freeze dried powder for exports to global markets.

Set up at a cost of Rs.80 crore with an installed capacity of 2,000 tonnes per annum, the hi-tech plant will produce spray dried, agglomerated and freeze dried instant coffee, retaining its aroma better.

"Freeze dried coffee retains aroma better and gives rich flavour, colour and appearance to the beverage," Tata Coffee managing director Hameed Haq said in a statement from Theni, about 500 km from Chennai.

The plant is strategically located at the company's instant coffee manufacturing facility, which is 170 km from Tuticorin port in the southern part of the state for export shipping.

"Our expertise in the bean to brew value chain, efficient processes and focus on sustainability has helped us maintain leadership position in the business. The expansion of our instant coffee facility demonstrates our commitment to provide premium coffees to customers worldwide," Haq said.

As a 100 percent export-oriented unit, the instant coffee facility has an installed capacity of 4,000 tonnes per annum.

The Theni plant became a top exporter of soluble coffee to Russia and CIS countries last fiscal (2012-13).

As a subsidiary of Tata Global Beverages Ltd, the company produces 10,000 tonnes of shade grown Arabica and Robusta beans in its 19 estates across southern India and exports green coffee to Asia, Europe, North America and the Gulf region.

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