GANDHINAGAR, INDIA — India's masterbatch makers are expanding their domestic capacity to meet growing demand, as some are also moving ahead on overseas expansion.
Delhi-based Prayag Polytech Pvt. Ltd. is building a third manufacturing plant, in the city of Dahej, while Mumbai-based Rajiv Plastics Ltd. is hiking production at its existing plant in Pune, to meet growing demand in the country's auto sector.
Others said they are looking to build on overseas growth: Delhi-based Alok Masterbatches Pvt. Ltd. said it is scouting locations for a West African plant, after setting up a joint venture in Paraguay in 2012, its first outside India.
As well, Alok is continuously taking steps to boost capacity in India, where it has four plants. The company overall is growing 15-20 percent a year, with a cumulative capacity of 70,000 metric tons,
“[Expansion] is a continuous process as polymer consumption is growing in India,” said Alok Director Amit Puri. “Masterbatch makers have to hike their capacities to meet the demand.”
Puri and the other executives spoke in interviews at the Plastindia trade fair, held Feb. 5-10 in Gandhinagar.
Alok hopes to have its African joint venture worked out in six months to a year, with a local partner, Puri said. He estimated the West African polymer market is about 150,000 tonnes a year.
“[Africa] is an untapped market where polymer consumption is increasing annually,” said Puri. “We know it is a tough market but we are ready to take up the challenge.”
He declined to provide investment details for the potential African move.
Prayag, meanwhile, said it has aggressive growth plans in the domestic and international markets — it's building its third manufacturing plant in India.
“We are building the third plant in Dahej, Gujarat, on a 30-acre plot with an annual capacity of 20,000 tonnes,” said R.K. Agarwal, managing director of Prayag. The plant would initially start with 10,000 tonnes annual capacity but could be scaled up as market demand warrants, he said.
The company currently has two plants in the industrial town of Bhiwadi, in Rajasthan state, with a combined capacity of 40,000 metric tons a year.
At the Plastindia show, the company and Indian extruder manufacturer Steer Engineering Pvt. Ltd. also announced that Prayag had bought its 25th Steer extruder, in its Omega line, for its factories in Bhiwadi.
Prayag, which said it had 50 percent compounded annual sales growth for the last five years, said it is adding the new Steer line for exports.
As well, the company is eyeing setting up a factory in the Middle East or the United States, Agarwal said: “We would likely to finalize the foray in the next one year.”
Longer term, he said the company is considering an initial public offering on the stock exchange in Mumbai, and plans to diversify into making plastic paper from recycled materials.
Like the other firms, Indian masterbatch producer Rajiv Plastics Ltd. said it's expanding domestically and scouting international opportunities.
Domestically, the company is growing capacity in India from 30,000 to 35,000 metric tons.
“We have space at the Pune plant for further expansion. The plant caters largely to the high-growth auto sector,” said Director Hemant Minocha.
He said the company is planning an international expansion, but he declined to share details.
“We will announce the detailed plan including location, investment and capacity in the next six months,” he said. “We are up to something exciting and will share shortly.”
The company exports to 50 countries, and has been growing 10-15 percent a year since 2012, which is a slowdown from earlier growth rate of up to 20 percent a year, he said.