GANDHINAGAR, INDIA — Indian masterbatch maker Plastiblends India Ltd. is investing $10 million in a new factory in Gujarat, the company's third production facility, a top executive said in an interview at the Plastindia fair.
“We are investing around $10 million in the plant,” said S.V. Kabra, chairman and managing director of Mumbai-based Kolsite Group, the parent company of Plastiblends. “We have already procured the land and within a year the plant would commence production.”
The factory, in the city of Surat, would likely start with 30,000 metric tons of annual production, with the ability to expand to 100,000 metric tons, likely within five years, Kabra told Plastics News.
As well, the company is targeting a fourth masterbatch production facility, in the eastern city of Kolkata, executives said at the show. That facility will have a capacity of 15,000 metric tons a year.
The expansions would substantially boost its capacity.
Plastiblends claims it is India's largest maker of color and additive masterbatches and thermoplastic compounds, with 75,000 metric tons of manufacturing capacity in Daman, in western India, and 12,000 tonnes in Roorkee, Uttarakhand, in northern India.
The publicly traded company reported that sales in its last fiscal year, ending March 31, 2014, rose 14 percent to 46,929 lacs rupees, or $78.3 million.
Another Kolsite subsidiary, extruder manufacturer Kabra Extrusiontechnik Ltd., recently invested $2.5 million in an expanded machine and tool shop.
“Investment is a continuous process at Kabra as we have to upgrade ourselves to meet the market challenges,” he said.
Kabra also called for some broad policy changes in India which he said were important for the manufacturing sector.
Specifically, he said the government should remove import duties on components for manufacturing its machines, to provide what he called a level playing field to the domestic machinery industry, as part of new Prime Minister Narendra Modi's ‘Make in India' drive to boost domestic manufacturing.
“We are importing a lot of components to make machines, [and] that makes us uncompetitive in the international market,” he said.
He also found fault with the previous government's policy of signing of free trade agreements: “We are a big market and FTAs with a few countries puts us in a disadvantaged position.”
Kabra Extrusiontechnik is one of the India's largest exporters of plastic machinery, and has a target to boost exports to 50 percent of its sales, up from 40 percent now, by focusing on markets where it has a small presence, he said.
“We are looking forward to increasing our presence in the markets of Mexico and South America,” Kabra said.