One of Malaysia's largest cast film manufacturers, publicly traded BP Plastics Sdn. Hhd., paid nearly 17 million Malaysian ringgits ($4.58 million) to add nine-layer extrusion capacity and boost its exports to the United States, Japan and other major markets.
The Batu Pahat, Malaysia-based firm added a nine-layer Battenfeld Gloucester extrusion line at the end of December and nearly doubled its manufacturing space, in a bid to tap into higher-margin products, such as stretch cast film, and grow beyond its Southeast Asian base.
While Southeast Asia still will account for 80 percent of the firm's sales, ``We want to put the focus on the higher end. ... We see the potential of cast film for growth,'' senior sales manager Koh Chu How said at Sino-Pack 2006, held March 7-10 in Guangzhou.
The company spent about 16.7 million ringgits ($4.5 million) on the extrusion line and related equipment, and additional funds building a factory to house the machine, giving the firm about 250,000 square feet of manufacturing space. All of BP's film manufacturing is in Batu Pahat.
The company also is adding a monolayer extrusion line for shrinkable film and low and linear low density PE bags in April, and added a multilayer coextrusion line for lamination in July, giving it more than 20 extruders, Koh said.
Beyond the nine-layer machine, the company has seven- and five-layer extrusion lines for stretch film as well, with a total cast stretch film capacity of about 7.9 million pounds per month, he said. The nine-layer line has capacity of about 3.1 million pounds of film a month, Koh said.
The company is one of the three largest cast film extruders in Malaysia, where the market is growing quickly and the country is becoming a significant exporter of cast film, with an estimated 33.1 million pounds per month, according to Koh.
He said resin officials have told him Malaysia now surpasses China in cast stretch film exports because of the growth of resin manufacturing nearby, such as expanding PE resin plants in Singapore and Thailand, and because of political stability in Malaysia.
The company, which manufactures film and bags for industrial uses like pallet wrap and commercial applications like garment bags, is a subsidiary of BP Plastics Holding Bhd. in Batu Pahat.
On its Web site, the company said it has total capacity of about 79.4 million pounds and employs about 280. It claims it was the first manufacturer in Asia to have a seven-layer cast stretch film line, in 2003.
The firm reported sales of 160 million ringgit ($42.3 million) in 2005, with after-tax profit of 20.4 million ringgit ($5.39 million).