Govt. Opium & alkaloid works is the largest and oldest opium factory in the world. It is spread over an area of 45 acres and is situated on the high banks of the river Ganga at Ghazipur, about 80 Kilometers from the holy city of Varanasi in eastern part of Uttar Pradesh. The Opium Factory was set up in the year 1820. Alkaloid Works was added in the year 1942 realizing the scarcity of life saving and analgesic drugs/pain killers during the World War-II. There are only two opium factories in India. The other factory is at Neemuch(M.P.). Both the Factories are under the direct administrative control of the Ministry of Finance, Govt. of India through the Chief Controller of Factories.
There is no clear-cut evidence as to when opium was introduced in India for medicinal use and opium poppy for the purpose of cultivation. However, it is generally believed that opium was introduced in India by Arabs who conquered Spain, Egypt, Asia Minor, Turkistan, Persia and Parts of India in the 7th Century AD.
The processing of Opium in India began in the year 1820 with setting up of a Opium factory by the British Government at Ghazipur (Uttar Pradesh). Subsequently, the alkaloid extraction unit was added in 1945. The process of alkaloid extraction from the Opium, as adopted at GOAW, Ghazipur at the time of its inception, was developed by Rubertson Gregory. The process was primarily developed for extraction of the Morphine from Opium.
Following products are manufactured at GOAW, Ghazipur:
• Codeine Phosphate. • Codeine Sulphate.
• Morphine Salts. • Dionine I.P.
• Nascopine B.P. • Cotarnine Chloride.
• Morphine BPC. • Morphine Hydrochloride.
• Thebaine Pure. • IMO Powder.
• IMO Cake.