May 23, 2009

Sipping Spirits plans rice-based distillery in Bengal

KOLKATA: Goa-based Sipping Spirits on Thursday said it plans to set up a rice-based distillery in West Bengal and a survey for the feedstock availability is being carried out.

"We are carrying out survey for availability of broken rice in the districts which would be used as feedstock for the distillery,'' Sipping Spirits Director, Mr Prasanna Natarajan said here at the launch of a new vodka brand.

The 15 kl per day distillery project would cost Rs 20 crore and would be a commodity business for the company to supply of extra-neutral alcohol to other spirit makers. **We are not going to market any branded product produced here.

It will be a commodity business for us as grain-based feedstock is gaining market,'' Mr Natarajan said. The molasses available in the country was of poor quality and in the next few years its use in distilleries was likely to decrease to 50 per cent fro m 80 per cent used now, he said.

Sipping Spirit's Goa facility is a bottling plant for the Netherlands-based Resolute brand vodka. With lowering of import duty of alcoholic spirits to 150-165 per cent down from 212-525 per cent more brands were pushing their products into fast expandin g market. - PTI

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