Grupo Industrial Ortiz, which claims to be the world's largest producer of polypropylene raffia woven sacks and similar products, is diversifying into food packaging and disposable tableware and preparing to invest outside Mexico for the first time.
Family-owned Ortiz opened three packaging production plants in the city of Morelia, central Mexico, its home base, in October. It will invest $64 million in two others — in Mexico City and northern Mexico — to be operational by the fourth quarter of 2017, CEO Emanuel Ortiz said January 15.
In an email to Plastics News, he also said that the company plans to open tableware production facilities in India and Myanmar in 2018. Ortiz operates 15 factories, 14 of them in Morelia and one in León, 122 miles to the northwest.
The company also expanded its leno loom manufacturing in 2016, starting an operation that employs 150 and taking the total number of Ortiz employees to 4,250.
Ortiz, which processes 90,000 metric tons of plastic resins a year, is the largest manufacturer of plastic products in Latin America, according to its website.
One of the three new factories that came on stream in 2016 produces expanded polystyrene trays, containers and clamshells and can process 1,500 metric tons of resin a year, Emanuel Ortiz said.
Simultaneously, the company opened a “big capacity” PS foam cup factory and another facility equipped to make 1,500 metric tons of PP cups and 800 metric tons of PET lids a year.
“We invested $26 million in machinery and peripheral equipment, excluding the buildings,” in the three plants, Ortiz added.
The two new packaging plants planned for this year will make PS and PP foam cups and PET lids and employ 800 in both facilities, 1,600 in all.
Ortiz was coy about the company's sales in 2016, saying only: “We increased our sales by 36 percent in one year. This is without considering the expansion of the three new factories for disposable tableware. Our equipment started running in early November.”
He forecast that 2017 sales would be “almost 180 percent above those of 2015.”
Asked about the company's growth projections over the next five years, he avoided giving a direct answer, saying only: “We became leaders in the production of raffia woven bags, leno bags, rope, twain, yarn, flower pots, FFS film.
“We decided to switch from the agricultural field to disposable tableware thanks to personal advice from a very, very good friend and foremost supplier of Formosa Plastics.”
The decision to invest in India was partly inspired by the success of Mexican cinema chain Cinépolis, which “owns more than 450 cinemas” on the sub-continent, Ortiz said, and is the world's third or fourth largest movie theater operator.
Cinépolis and Grupo Industrial Ortiz have two things in common, said Ortiz. “Both are family-owned and from Morelia.” Cinépolis's success in India gave the plastics processing company “a clear idea” of where it should be investing.