India dairy major Tirumala Milk Products is to invest INR3bn (US$55.7m) in the construction of three milk processing and packaging plants in the country.

Tirumala’s executive director EN Rao confirmed the investments to just-food, adding the company is “expanding fast”. 

The first plant will be built at Melmaruvathur, 80km from Chennai in southern India, and will be operational by the end of the year. Tirumala is investing INR1bn in the facility.

Once completed, Rao said the plant will process 400,000 litres of milk per day to meet demand in the southern districts of Chennai city and in central parts of Tamil Nadu state.

Rao told just-food the company plans to build two additional milk processing plants, one near Coimbatore in Tamil Nadu and another in the north-central part of the neighbouring Karnataka state, as part of a separate INR2bn investment. No further details of the two facilities have yet been disclosed.

The Hyderabad-based company, established in 1998, is one of the fastest-growing private Indian milk products companies and sells ghee, butter, curd, ice cream and milk-based Indian sweets.

US private-equity firm The Carlyle Group owns a stake in Tirumala. However, there have been reports in recent months that Carlyle wants to sell its shares in the business. In February, reports in India claimed talks withe Danone to invest in Tirumala were put on hold.