DUSSELDORF, GERMANY — Injection molder Contenedores Argentinos SA is firming up plans for two new joint venture Brazilian factories that will involve investment of more than $17 million by the time the second unit begins operating toward the end of 2000.
Conarsa President Hector A. Mendez said in an interview at K'98 in Dusseldorf that construction of the first new plant has begun in Caxias do Sul, north of Porto Alegre in southern Brazil, and should start operating by April. Covering about 27,000 square feet on an 11-acre site, the plant will produce large, high density polyethylene bins for transporting fruits and vegetables.
The plant will employ 25 and be equipped with two injection molding machines from Italy's MIR SpA — a 5,000-tonner and a 600-tonner. Total cost for the site, plant and equipment will be about $7 million, according to Mendez.
Early in 2000, he said, Conarsa will build an almost identical facility near SÃo Paulo, Brazil, that will house three MIR injection presses with clamping forces of 5,000, 1,200 and 600 tons. The plant will be the same size, with the same number of employees and be on a site no larger than 8.5 acres. It also will make shipping bins, as well as two- and four-wheel waste-container carts.
The higher cost of land in the SÃo Paulo region, combined with different types of molding presses, will drive the cost of that facility up closer to $10 million, Mendez said. Construction is due to begin early in 2000.
Buenos Aires, Argentina-based Conarsa, which employs 52 in its two existing plants in Neuquen and San Luis, Argentina, will report sales of about $9 million in 1998. The latter began operating less than a year ago.
Mendez projects sales from all four plants will reach $25 million to $30 million by 2001.
The firm will process about 11,000 pounds of HDPE this year, and expects to triple that throughput when all four facilities are operating fully.
In Argentina, Conarsa is 75 percent controlled by a group of local investors; the balance is owned by Battipaglia, Italy-based Jcoplastic srl — itself a molder of shipping crates.
Jcoplastic makes of many of the large molds that it and Conarsa use.
In Brazil, Mendez said Conarsa and Jcoplastic jointly will own 50 percent of the two new plants, with a large, as-yet-unidentified Brazilian company owning the other half.