Published: Monday 15 April 1996

SWEET REMEMBRANCE: Students can now literally chew their way to better memorv. Madras-based Velvette International Pharma is all set to launch a wonder drug - chocolates with memory-enbancing properties. The chocolates will be laced with a potent formula which has been developed by the Central Drug Research Institute, Lucknow. The drug, Memory Plus, is based on an extract of the Brahmi herb, with optimal quantities of Bacosides A and B, two new molecules which have, memory-enhancing properties. Memory Plus improves the brain's ability to absorb more information under stressful conditions.

SUNNY DEAL: The sun is set to shine more brightly in Rajasthan. The US- based Amco-Enron combine recently signed a 25-year power purchase agreement with the Rajasthan state electricity board to set up a 50 MW solar power project. The company has fixed the power tariff at Rs 2.25 per unit. It would construct a photovoltaic plant in the Thar desert near Jaisalmer, Rajasthan. The combine bad initially signed an agreement to set up a 2,400 MW solar power plant which was later cancelled for because of business disagreements.

BURSTING FORTH: It is bloom time for India's floriculture market. The Rs 55-crore Little Holland, a joint venture promoted by Voc Netherlands, Pace International Ltd and the Kerala State Industrial Development Corporation Ltd will base its export unit at Pandalam in Pathanamthitta prodistrict of Kerala. The company poses to instal a greenhouse over nearly 25 ha at Pandalam within five months from now. The entire produce from this unit would be exported since the domestic market for cut flowers is almost non-existent. The company would also sell good quality plants in Kerala for small growers.

FIBROUS GAINS: The Indian jute industry is poised for remarkable growth 5 with the setting up FIR; of CoochbeharAgro, Industries, the eastern region's largest jute-based plant. It will be installed by Champdani Industries Ltd, the largest exporter of jute and jute products in the country, in collaboration with the West Bengal government at a cost of Rs 25 crore. The state government would invest Rs 40 lakh besides providing land, water and electricity. Coochbehar is one of the finest raw jute producing areas of the world.

GREEN AND CLEAN: To promote ecofriendly detergents, the National Aluminium Company Limited will set up a plant for the manufacture of Zeolite-A, at its alumina plant in Daman odi, Orissa. The Rs 25 crore project is based on a technology developed by the Central Salt and Marine Chemicals Research Institute, Bhavnagar, Gujarat, which reduces production costs. Presently, the detergent industry makes use of sodium tripolyphosphate, which leads to the discharge of pollutants. Zeolite-A avoids this and softens the wash water and makes the clothes cleaner and brighter.

CHARGING AHEAD: Marubeni, one of Japan's top five general trading com- panies, is all set to strengthen its hold over the Asian power distribution sector. It recently acquired a 30 per cent stake, worth US $236 million, Sithe Energies, New York, the fourth largest electricity wholesaler in the US. The stakes in Sithe, which operates power stations in the US, Australia and China, would help Marubeni to start electricity distribution in south-east Asia and for plant construction and supply of liquid natural gas.

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