SHANGHAI — Most of the capacity growth for large German plastic film manufacturer RKW since 2010 has come from a push into global markets, particularly in North America and North Africa. Now, with its first Chinese plant opening by the end of the year, executives believe Asia will join that mix.
It's been active in the region lately. In April the Frankenthal, Germany-based firm announced a $30 million investment in the southern Chinese city of Guangzhou. In March it revealed it had bought out its local partner in its operation in Vietnam, RKW-Lotus.
At the Chinaplas trade fair in late April in Shanghai, Plastics News caught up with Matthias Kaufmann, a member of RKW's executive board and vice president of consumer packaging, and Oliver Dirmeier, who became managing director of RKW-Lotus and Asia sales director in January.
Kaufmann said the Asian investments are at an early stage, but he noted that most of RKW's recent volume growth, from 300,000 metric tons production globally in 2010 to 370,000 tonnes last year, has happened outside its traditional European base, where most of its factories are located.
In 2011 it bought Danafilms Inc. in the United States and opened a facility in Cairo, Egypt, a $30 million investment. The company is one of Europe's largest plastic film extruders.