Global plastic packaging firm Essel Propack Ltd. is opening a new plant in Cali, Colombia, to make laminated tubes for the beauty and cosmetics industries, part of what the company said is a bigger push in the region.
The Mumbai, India-based firm said the new factory will have capacity to make 180 million tubes a year and expand Essel's ability to make plastic barrier laminated tubes in the Andean region and Latin America.
Essel, which has a factory in Danville, Va., said it's the world's largest global maker of laminated plastic tubes for toothpaste, pharmaceuticals and fast-moving consumer goods.
Ted Sojourner, the Danville-based regional vice president, said the company is investing $5 million in the new facility, Essel's second in Colombia. The new factory is in a free trade zone, making it easier to import raw materials and export throughout Latin and South America.
“This facility is built with an infrastructure that will support ... future capacity expansions and growth,” he said.
In its most recent annual report, for the year ending March 31, Essel Vice Chairman and Managing Director Ashok Goel suggested the company is very interested in South America.
“With our larger operations growing in strength and contributing to the bottom line, we are in the process of scaling up some of our smaller operations such as Colombia and Mexico in order to seize the market opportunity in Latin America and the Andean region,” he said.
Sojourner said the overall economy in parts of South America, like Brazil, have been challenging. But he said Essel is benefiting from strong relationships with customers in the oral care and consumer goods industries in the region.
Essel's annual report said its Colombian subsidiary saw sales grow 29 percent last year and said the market in the Andean countries “continues to be promising.”
Essel Propack has $380 million in sales globally, with 21 factories in 11 countries.