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PureCircle completes expansion of extraction plant in Jiangxi

April 27, Proactive Investors UK - High-intensity sweetener group PureCircle Ltd (AIM: PURE) said it has completed the major expansion of its extraction plant complex in Jiangxi province, south eastern China, on schedule.

The upgrade programme, which included the quadrupling of Stevia extract capacity from 1,000 metric tonnes per annum to 4,000 tonnes, ensures that the Jiangxi plant continues, by some distance, to be the largest Stevia extract factory in the world, the group said in a statement.

The company¡¯s flagship product, natural zero-calorie sweetener Rebaudioside A, is derived from the Stevia Rebaudiana plant, which is native to subtropical and tropical South America and Central America.

Overall the expansion programme has taken almost two years to complete and has cost US $32 million, in line with the project plans and has fully funded from internal resources, the group said.

PureCircle in December 2008 got the go-ahead from the US Food and Drug Administration for Reb A to be used as a key ingredient in mainstream food and beverage production. 

Separately, the doubling of the group's annual high purity Reb A refining capacity from 1,000 tonnes to 2,000 tonnes at its refinery in Malaysia is progressing on schedule and is expected to be completed by the end of the calendar year, PureCircle added.