Vibac Group plans to start a new biaxially oriented polypropylene film line in North America by the end of 2003.
The firm will install the line at either its Montreal or Morristown, Tenn., plant, according to William Maloney, sales director for Vibac subsidiary Vifan USA. He said a decision on the site will be announced within two months and will be based partly on various negotiations under way.
Construction of the new line is to begin by the end of the year. Its output will be geared for packaging snacks and confectioneries and for label markets. The company would not disclose the cost of installing the new BOPP system.
Amsterdam-based Vibac plans to order another new OPP film line in 12-18 months for installation in North America.
Each of the new lines will be 26 feet wide, with five-layer capability and annual capacity of 55 million pounds. They nearly will double current Vibac OPP capacity in North America. Vifan Canada now has capacity of about 50 million pounds per year and the Tennessee operation can make 75 million pounds per year, Maloney estimated in a telephone interview. The company's North American sales offices are in Montreal, Atlanta, Chicago, Philadelphia and Monterrey, Mexico.
Vibac claims to be the second-largest BOPP producer in the world, behind ExxonMobil Chemical Co.'s films business. Maloney said the firm has European capacity of 225 million pounds per year.