The Mexican state of Tamaulipas is using the lure of raw materials at its doorstep to persuade plastics processors to invest there.
Altamíra, a city that hosts one of Mexico's two petrochemicals ports, lies within Tamaulipas, as do seven major resin producers.
We are looking for 100 [processors] to produce all sorts of end products and to create 10,000 jobs in the area of Altamíra, Tampico and Ciudad Madero, said Victor Arroyo, one of the project's directors.
The seven resin producers are: BASF SE, Indelpro SA de CV, M&G Polímeros de México SA de CV, Mexichem Resinas Vinílicas SA de CV, Policyd SA de CV, Polioles SA de CV and Sabic Innovative Plastics Tampico S de RL de CV.
Arroyo and Italo Tajer Scavalli, lead a relatively new development bureau called Cadenas Plasticas del Sur de Tamaulipas, or Cadeplast. In promotional literature, Cadeplast promises preferential treatment in raw material negotiations for all resin [processors] establishing themselves in the south of Tamaulipas.
Cadeplast, which roughly translates in English to Integrated Plastic Networks in the South of Tamaulipas, was formed in 2007 following suggestions from state and municipal governments, as well as the private sector, to do something with the resin.
It stands to reason that anywhere you have the raw material, you want to make an end product with it, Arroyo said.
Tajer, Cadeplast's president, is well-known in Mexico's plastics industry. He directed PVC resin producer Grupo Primex SA de CV, now owned by Mexichem SAB de CV. He also was co-owner of Advanced Profiles SA de CV and launched an extrusion company called Perfiles KB SA de CV.
In an e-mail, Tajer stressed that Cadeplast is not an association of companies but a bureau founded by the state of Tamaulipas.
Close to 70 percent of the country's total resins capacity is located in the area, he said, adding that the region's resin manufacturers have annual sales close to $3 billion.
To date, Cadeplast has tried to convince 14 companies to move to the area. Five of them have accepted. Referring to the paperwork involved in setting up a new plant, he said: We just made things easier for them.
The five companies include Dypack México SA de CV, which makes boxes and bags with plastic linings; polypropylene maker Basell México SA de CV; and Uflex Ltd., an Indian flexible packaging company that is investing $150 million in a new polyester film-making facility in Altamíra.
Cadeplast expects the Uflex plant to start operating in mid-April. Pradeep Tyle, chief executive officer of Noida, India-based Uflex's film division, said in September that the facility will have an initial production capacity of 80 million pounds per year.
Arroyo said Cadeplast lost a big processor: Lego.
They're now building a plant in Monterrey, he said. Lego officials cited better road links between Monterrey, Mexico City and Dallas, where Lego has a large distribution center, he said.
Asked whether he is worried about competition from other regions in Mexico, such as Baja California, where industrial parks are growing fast, he replied: No. We have Texas.