With sales up 50 percent annually in the past two years, New Delhi-based Alok Masterbatches Ltd. is opening a sixth plant, doubling its total capacity, launching a compounding division, and considering a foreign manufacturing site.
The firm's sixth plant will start up in late 2008, in the Indian state of Uttranchal, Alok Director Vikram Bhadauria said at K 2007, held Oct. 24-31 in Dusseldorf. Bhadauria said the site is in a tax-exempt zone and will cater to nearby packaging and auto firms.
Alok runs 15 masterbatch production lines at five Indian plants, in New Delhi, Bhiwadi, Silvassa and Dadra. Total annual masterbatch capacity is about 44.1 million pounds.
The company plans to double that capacity in its current fiscal year, and add 25-30 jobs to its workforce of 200, according to Bhadauria.
Alok reported sales of $11.3 million for 2006-07, with exports to the Middle East, southern Asia, Russia and Europe generating about 15 percent of that total. The company projects exports will rise to around 20 percent of its sales in this fiscal year.
``The K show is our sixth international show in 2006-07,'' Bhadauria said. ``We aim to consolidate our position by having an international manufacturing location soon,'' he added. He did not provide details.
Alok's product portfolio consists of color, black, white, additive and filler masterbatches. The firm's customers include Unilever NV, L'Oreal, LG Electronics Co. and Samsung Electronics Co. Bhadauria said Alok is the largest supplier of ultraviolet masterbatches in India.
Adding to its masterbatch business, Alok recently started a compounding arm - Alkom Specialties Compounds - to make cross-linked polyethylene compounds for the power-cable industry.
``This is specifically to ride the boom in the power sector in India,'' Bhadauria said.
The 107,000-square-foot facility in Bhiwadi began shipping commercially in August.
Alkom currently is able to make 882,000 pounds of compounds a month, using a Coperion 75-millimeter twin-screw extruder, K-Tron feeders and a Gala underwater pelletizer.
``India's power-cable industry grows 50 percent annually and expects to receive $10 billion of investment by 2012,'' he said.
Cross-linked PE is used for pipes and rotational molded fuel and chemical tanks, Bhadauria added.
Alkom said it plans to open a second compounding site in western India in the next three years.