Keeping in step with the booming South American PET bottle market, Germany's Schmalbach-Lubeca AG has formed a Lima, Peru-based joint venture with two companies.
Schmalbach-Lubeca PC Del Peru SA will begin injection molding PET preforms of all sizes on three presses this month. The new, 32,400-square-foot plant will employ fewer than 25. Financial details concerning the venture were not disclosed.
``Peru is a very important market for us,'' William Long, vice president and general manager of Schmalbach-Lubeca's Latin America operation, said in a news release. ``We have been supplying Peru for a number of years via import from company operations in Europe and USA.''
Local production will help Schmalbach-Lubeca serve its growing customer base in Peru and meet rising demand for PET packaging there, Long said.
The Peruvian market for PET packaging is estimated at 500 million to 600 million units a year, according to Schmalbach-Lubeca, based in Ratingen, Germany.
``We believe [the South American] market offers good growth potential in traditional markets,'' George Pinter, director of business development for Latin America, said by phone from the firm's U.S. base in Manchester, Mich. ``It's an important area of the world and we're excited to grow our business there.''
Indeed, Lima seems to be a hot spot for bottle makers. In June, CNC Containers Corp. of Tumwater, Wash., announced that, through a joint venture with PET Products International of Lima, it was building a 75,000-square-foot PET preform plant in Lima. That facility will be operational later this month.
Schmalbach-Lubeca is the majority owner in its joint venture and brings marketing and technology expertise. Its partners are Petco International and Filamentos Industriales SA.
Lima-based Filamentos is the largest producer of spun polyester textiles in Peru. Petco of Miami has been the exclusive sales agent for Schmalbach-Lubeca in Peru, and has participated in other South American ventures with Schmalbach-Lubeca.
Schmalbach-Lubeca is one of the world's largest packaging companies, supplying beverage cans, PET containers and White Cap closures for food and beverage companies globally. The company reported sales last year of $2.5 billion.