Kadapa: Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y.S Jagan Mohan Reddy laid the foundation stone for a Century Plyboards (India) Limited plant at Gopavaram here on Thursday.

Minister of industries, commerce, and Information Technology Mekapati Goutham Reddy and special chief secretary (industries and commerce) R. Karikal Valaven were also present.

The new plant will be Century Plyboards' largest and will transform the business scenario in the region. The company plans to invest Rs. 1600 crores in three phases creating direct and indirect employment for 2,500 people. The biggest beneficiaries of this significant investment will be the local farmers.

CenturyPly will purchase locally-produced raw material directly from farmers and will increase the realizations to farmers by at least 50%, the company said. In the first phase, the unit will have a manufacturing capacity of 2,31,000 cubic meters of medium density fibre board; in the second phase 99,000 cubic meters of particle board and 17,000 cubic meters of block board; and in the third phase 2,31,000 cubic meters of second medium density fibre board (MDF) line.

Speaking on the occasion, Jagan said, "This also marks the beginning of the realization of the government's vision of one lakh acres of plantation in the Gopavaram district that will transform it into a land of lush flora and fauna. Together with CenturyPly, we will uplift and move this district into a new benchmark of sustainable development."

He added, "I am confident that with this project, the backward region of Badvel will emerge as a hub for wood-based industries, ancillary industries related to wood-based industries, and development in transportation and logistics services. All these activities will create employment for local youth and communities thereby improving their living standards."

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