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Klöckner Pentaplast talks global expansion plans

German plastics manufacturer Klöckner Pentaplast is investing $51.8 million to add to its global production capacity in its facilities in Suzhou, China; Cotia, Brazil; and Santo Tirso, Portugal.About 137 employees will be added worldwide. Klöckner Pentaplast says the company is the only rigid films producer with manufacturing sites located in the Americas, Asia, and Europe.

Heather Caliendo

November 7, 2012

3 Min Read
Klöckner Pentaplast talks global expansion plans

Nancy Ryan, Klöckner Pentaplast group director of corporate communications, told PlasticsToday the company's 2013 expansion plans reflect its dedication to servicing customers' needs now and in the future.

"Klöckner Pentaplast has a strong global presence in leading and emerging markets where we have chosen to strengthen and expand our geographical presence while leveraging our global position in key segments," she said.

Cotia, São Paulo, Brazil, manufacturing facility, PVC capacity

The company will invest in 1200 metric tons of additional coating and laminating capacity suitable for the production of Pentapharm alfoil PVdC-coated and Pentapharm ACLAR-laminated packaging films to service the Latin American pharmaceutical industry. The $15.1 million investment will add 36 employees.

In addition, PVC calendaring capacity will be increased by 12,000 metric tons to service the pharmaceutical, food, print, card, and general-purpose thermoforming markets.

However, the use of PVC has come under fire in recent years by various environmental and healthcare institutions because of concerns of chemical leaching.

Ryan said the company's facilities are ISO 9001 registered and they ensure its manufacturing meets the strictest standards.  

"Providing a safe and secure environment for our employees and the communities in which we operate is fundamental to our business operations and an integral part of our culture," she said. "We operate the most advanced production technologies available and we have traceability of the materials we use and the products we manufacture. " 

The company currently employs current Good Manufacturing Practices (cGMP), which require manufacturers, processors, and packagers of drugs, medical devices, and some foods, to take proactive steps to ensure that their products are safe, pure and effective.

"This protects the consumer from purchasing a product that is not effective or even dangerous," she said. "Failure of manufacturers to comply with cGMP can result in very serious consequences."  

Additionally, the company conducts routine preventive maintenance and sampling in accordance with its permits such as storm water sampling and inspection, generator maintenance, system vacuuming, railcar checks, solid waste storage area inspection, and keeps detailed records of its maintenance efforts, she said.

Start up of the coating and laminating capacity will begin in Fall 2013, with calendering capacity coming online in Spring 2014, followed by matte calendering capacity in Fall 2014. The new capacity further complements the group's existing film production capacity at two facilities in Latin America, Villa del Totoral, Argentina, and Cotia, Brazil.

China manufacturing facility and Portugal production site

Klöckner Pentaplast will open its first Chinese production site in the Suzhou Industrial Park in Suzhou, China. The new site is scheduled to open Spring 2013 and will produce packaging films for the growing domestic Chinese market.

The first phase of operations will focus on transverse direction oriented shrink-label films and house production equipment, high-tech production control systems, and a research and development laboratory.

The site will increase Klöckner Pentaplast's global shrink-films capacity by 6000 metric tons. The $29.5 million investment will employ about 76 people.

Klöckner Pentaplast will also add to its European production capacity for polyester films. Primarily used for food and consumer packaging applications, the new capacity will be located at the company's Santo Tirso, Portugal manufacturing facility. The start up of the extrusion line is targeted for Winter 2013 and will add 25 employees. The $7.2 million investment will add 8000 metric tons of capacity.

This past June, Klöckner Pentaplast announced the recapitalization of its capital structure when SVP Investor Group assumed ownership of the company. As part of the transaction, Klöckner Pentaplast's total debt was reduced by approximately 50% to €630 million ($803 million) from €1.26 billion ($1.6 billion.)

At the time, the company said the new shareholders "are fully supportive of the existing management team as they continue to develop and strengthen the company by building on its leading global market positions."

"We believe that our strategies and employees position us to continue innovating and growing well into the future with leading market positions in Europe and North America with a strong global presence in emerging markets; technological leadership and superior manufacturing capabilities; compelling product mix and end-user markets; and an excellent platform for future growth," Ryan said.

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