BUENOS AIRES, ARGENTINA — As part of its strategy to build a strong position in South America, Dixie Toga SA of SÃo Paulo, Brazil, is investing $10 million to expand activities of its Argentine affiliate, Buenos Aires-based American Plast SA.
American Plast manufacturers polypropylene, polystyrene and oriented PS packaging such as pots, lids and trays to supply the food industry. It also makes disposable packaging and food-service products, including cups made of ``polypaper'' — a laminated material combining low density polyethylene and paper — for McDonald's Corp.
Dixie Toga bought American Plast from a local group three years ago, in a move that represented Dixie Toga's first step toward its goal of becoming a regional player.
``In two years, we'll be present in every South American country supplying rigid, semirigid and flexible packaging,'' Walter Schalka, Dixie Toga's chief executive officer, said in an April 5 interview at Argenpl s 98.
Currently, American Plast's capacity totals 2.2 million pounds per month, or 1 billion pieces per year. By August, when the expansion project is scheduled to conclude, the firm's capacity will reach 1.2 billion pieces per year, or 2.6 million pounds per month.
Commercial manager Jorge Fern ndez Battolla said the investment plan includes the acquisition of five thermoforming lines—one for OPS and four for PP or PS—plus two printing machines and polypaper molding equipment.
Presently, American Plast operates Illig, O.M.V, Bellaplast and GN thermoforming lines, and Omso and Vandam printing machines. The firm also has a Husky injection molding machine and Battenfeld extrusion equipment.
The firm claims to be the largest rigid packaging manufacturer in Argentina, with a 50 percent share of the domestic market. It reported sales of $34 million in 1997.
American Plast exports to Brazil, Uruguay, Paraguay, Bolivia and Chile. It imports Dixie Toga's Lalekla line of toilette and hygiene products from Brazil.