Plastics packaging: UFLEX starts new BOPP film plant in Egypt, adds capacity in Mexico

One of the five largest flexible films processors in the world recently expanded its capacity yet again, this time with the commissioning of a new greenfield BOPP film plant in Egypt. The company, based in India, also is adding capacity in Mexico and even eyeing possible expansion in Europe.

UFLEX team at PackExpo 2010
The UFLEX team at the recent PackExpo trade show; the processor is on a growth path with expansions ongoing in Egypt and Mexico.

Making the announcement is the UFLEX Group (Noida, India), which ranks as the world's fifth-largest manufacturer of packaging films. Its products include bioriented polypropylene (BOPP), bioriented PET, cast PP and coextruded multilayer blown film. The new line is Egypt is an 8.7m-wide, 500-m/min output line for processing of coextruded BOPP film, with annual throughput better than 35,000 tonnes (about 80 million lb) per year. The line is supplemented by a 2.85m-wide plasma enhanced high-barrier vacuum metalizing unit.

The new facility has been established under the aegis of Flex P Films (Egypt) S.A.E., a subsidiary of the UFLEX Group, and forms the first phase of expansion for the facility. The second phase will see the installation of a coextruded cast polypropylene (CPP) film line that will be commissioned in early 2011, reports the processor, and this will be followed during 2011 with a new 8.7m-wide, 500-m/min coextruded BOPET film line, which also will be linked to a that can deliver 36,000 MT (about 80 million lb) per year. A new high-barrier metalizing unit will also supplement this line.

UFLEX was formerly known as the FLEX Group. The company is India's largest flexible packaging conglomerate and claims to be the world's only fully vertically integrated company in this business. Its products include plain and metalized films, flexible packaging laminates, bags and pouches, PET resins, holographic materials, printing inks and coatings, adhesives, rotogravure cylinders, flexographic plates, packaging machinery and converting machinery. Its annual revenues are about INR35 billion ($760 million) with its processing facilities in India, Dubai, Mexico, and Egypt.

Apart from the lines in Egypt, a new 8.7m BOPET film line is also being installed at the processor's facility in Altamira, Mexico, which it opened in 2009. Once these new lines are installed, UFLEX reckons it will be one of the world's top three BOPET film producers. The Group is now looking at the possibility of investing in Europe. The facility in Mexico has recently been accredited with ISO 9001:2008 certification. —Matt Defosse


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