Uflex Group, the Indian flexible packaging giant, is to build a new facility in the US state of Kentucky and expects it will run the largest film line in the country. The first phase of the US$180 million project will be to set up an 8.7m wide, 500m/min biaxially oriented polyester (BOPET) film line and a plasma enhanced high-barrier metalliser. The line, one of the world’s largest, will turn out 30,000 tonnes (around 70m lbs) of film per year and is expected to be onstream by the end of 2012. Uflex says it will be larger than any other film line presently operating in the US. The US is the world’s largest packaging market accounting for around 20% of global consumption.
In 2005, Uflex began a programme of setting up plants in all major international geographical film markets by commissioning a BOPET Film line in Dubai. Later, it launched facilities for BOPET films in Mexico (in 2009) and biaxially oriented polypropylene (BOPP) films and cast polypropylene (CPP) films in Egypt (in 2010). Three more 8.7m BOPET lines are being installed–including one at a new facility in Poznan, Poland which is expected to be operational by the middle of 2012. This will be Uflex’s first European manufacturing project. The plant is being set up under the aegis of Flex Film Europa. The BOPET plant will be one of the world’s largest film lines, capable of producing about 36,000 tonnes (80m lbs) of film annually. The total investment in the first phase will be US$90m.