Uflex Ltd. is aiming to become one of the world's largest flexible plastic producers by expanding its base in India as well as setting up new plants globally.
The company, which broke ground on its first U.S. plant a year ago, is currently looking at Latin America as a location for a future plant.
The objective is to cut the lead time for global customers, according to N. Siva Shankaran, vice president of business development for the company's packaging division.
“Earlier, the lead time used to be around 45 days, when we were supplying from India,” Shankaran said in an interview at the Packaging Technology for Optimization conference in New Delhi.
Now the lead time is down to a maximum of about 10 days, he said.
Shankaran said the company's plant in Latin America will “most likely” be in Brazil. The company will probably zero in on a location in early 2013.
“Ideally, plant construction would take about 12-15 months and the proposed South American venture would [be] likely to start production in the first half of 2014,” Shankaran said.
The company expects the plant to be similar to its plant in Noida, near Delhi.
“We replicated the Noida plant in our overseas plants in the United Arab Emirates, Mexico, Egypt, Poland and the U.S., and would follow it in the South American plant also,” he said.
Uflex broke ground in October 2011 on its U.S. plant, in Elizabethtown, Ky. The $180 million plant, which will be known as Flex Films, will make PET film.
Already India's largest flexible material producer, Uflex recently expanded one of its three plants in Jammu, India, Shankaran said. Two of the plants make laminated films and pouches.
Shankaran said Uflex still plans to grow in India.
“We are looking for a suitable site for the new plant, which would likely be located in the southern part of India,” Shankaran said. The proposed facility probably would begin operating by early 2014.
Uflex grows about 15 percent annually.
Currently, India's laminated films sector generates sales of about $3 billion annually, and Shankaran predicts that figure will surpass $50 billion in 15-20 years. Uflex has about 15 percent of India's laminate film market, he said.