Ichitan Group plans to invest THB2bn – THB3bn ($64.5m-$97m) in the next two years for the second phase of its expansion programme in Thailand to double the green-tea drinks production capacity at its Bt3.5bn ($113m) Rojana bottling plant in Ayutthaya.

The 50,000m² plant, which was damaged by the massive flood that hit Rojana Industrial Park in October 2011, resumed production on 8 March and the new building to be constructed in the second-phase expansion will require another 20,000m²-25,000m².

In the first phase, which is expected to be completed in the next two years, the plant will have three production lines for plastic bottles added and another three lines for ultra-high-temperature (UHT) treated packs.

With 200 million plastic bottles and 390 million UHT packs comprising 130 million for each production line, the bottling plant will be able to produce 600 million bottles of green tea annually.

ICHITAN GROUP president and CEO Tan Passakornnatee said the company hopes to double its production capacity in the second-phase expansion, with construction of the new plant commencing in early 2014.

"Construction will take about 10 months, and the plant will start operation by the end of 2014," Passakornnatee told The Nation.

The damaged plant is currently running one production line for both bottles and UHT packs at about 80% of its full capacity.

Ichitan said it has spent another Bt2bn ($65m) on the purchase of new machinery to replace the damaged one.

Plans are also in progress to install a second production line for both bottles and UHT packs by next month, which will start operation by September and double the existing capacity at the plant.

Post second-phase expansion, the company plans to produce healthy drinks and fruit juices.