The global annual BOPP demand is estimated to be approximately 7.2 million metric tonnes. The global demand and supply are broadly balanced except China. Currently India BOPP production capability is estimated at approximately 500,000 metric tonnes per annum. The India domestic BOPP consumption is approximately 350,000 metric tonnes per annum and export from India is about 110,000 metric tonnes per annum. Indian BOPP Industry has been growing at a very healthy rate. Based on capacity addition announced in India, new capacity expected in the industry may not be able to address growing India demand. On current India BOPP industry demand base, one new line each year may not be sufficient to address India’s growing demand. (Data Source: PCI Consulting/Industry Sources)

In line with strong demand fundamentals and growth of the flexible packaging printing and converting industry in India, top dozens or so manufacturers of BOPP, BOPET packaging films are implementing an increase in capacity by adding new state-of-the-art lines. Another feature of capacity enhancement is the addition of new metallizing and coating lines for the manufacturer of value added and specialty packaging films. We recount some of the expansion plans of the leading Indian manufacturers of packaging films below.

Cosmo Films adds 60,000 tonne BOPP line in Karjan
On 8 February 2017, Cosmo Films announced the start up of its tenth, 10.4 meter BOPP line. To celebrate the commissioning of the new 10.4 meter line with its customers, Cosmo Films organized its Line 10 Inauguration Function at Karjan, India in March 2017. With the installation of this new line, the company will increase its annual capacity by 40%, taking it to 196,000 metric tonnes, up 60,000 metric tonnes. Cosmo’s current annual capacity stands at 136,000 metric tonnes. The new line whose announcement was made in October 2015 has been commissioned ahead of its schedule and well within the projected capex of 200 crores, and has been installed at the company’s existing facility at Karjan, near Vadodara, India which already houses BOPP lines, extrusion coating and chemical coating lines and a metalizer. In addition, the company has added a cast polypropylene at its Maharashtra plant at a cost of Rs. 20 crore.

Cosmo has five BOPP lines in its Waluj plant in Aurangabad and one BOPP line at Shendra in Aurangabad. Altogether including the two lines in Karjan, the company presently has eight BOPP lines in addition to plants in Choognam in Korea and Hagerstown, USA for producing thermal films.

The commissioned line is the most advanced line available in the market today in terms of its width and output and is the first 10.4 meter line to be installed in the country. The line is equipped to deliver both superior quality products with minimized scratches, oil or additive spots and high surface energy as well as consistent quality due to automatic changeovers. The line is also capable of producing films as thick as 80 microns to cater to segments like textiles which require thicker films. According to Cosmo, the additional output is intended for both domestic and export markets.

In 2015, Pankaj Poddar, CEO, Cosmo Films Limited was quoted in a press release, “We are anticipating a strong demand for BOPP films in the coming years especially from the FMCG sector which prompts us to expand our BOPP production capacity.” He further added, “The output for the production unit intends to be used for both domestic and export markets.”

Chiripal Poly Films to add 45,000 tonnes capacity BOPP film line
Currently, Chiripal has three films production lines – two BOPP lines and one BOPET line, with a total production capacity of 118,000 metric tones per annum. The company has plans to install a 45,000 tonnes per annum capacity BOPP line by end 2017.

Jindal Poly Films to add 161,000 tonnes BOPP capacity
The largest Indian manufacturer of packaging films Jindal Poly Films is investing Rs. 1,000 crore (approximately US$ 150 million) for its capacity expansion both within the country and overseas. According to the company’s press release in November 2015, “Jindal Poly Films, the flagship company of BC Jindal group, has drawn up future expansion for its India operation and for its subsidiaries in USA and Europe totaling to Rs 1,000 crores. The capacity expansion comprises of three BOPP production lines, metalizers, coating lines along with the required ancillary equipment. The combined capacity of BOPP films will increase by 161,000 tonnes per annum (TPA) globally. The new capacities are expected to be operational over the next 2 years.”

In 2016, Jindal commissioned its 7th BOPP films production line of 41,000 TPA increasing the India BOPP capacity to 25100 TPA at its Nashik location. This is in addition to coating and metalizing capacities commissioned in FY 2016.

Jindal Poly Films’ three new BOPP lines – one each in Nashik (Maharashtra), US and Europe (Virton, Belgium) – will increase the capacity from the current 425,000 TPA to 586,000 TPA by 2018. The European and US lines are expected to go on stream by H1 FY2018.

The expansion will help Jindal Poly Films increase its annual BOPP capacity by 161,000 tonnes to reach an annual global capacity of 371,000 tonnes while its overall capacity including BOPET will rise to 498,000 tonnes. Jindal Poly Films’ current global BOPP capacity is 210,000 tonnes annually while its annual BOPET capacity is 127,000 tonnes for a combined film capacity of 337,000 tonnes.

SRF’s greenfield film line
SRF Limited, a manufacturer of chemical-based industrial intermediates, is spending Rs 394 crore on three projects involving expansion of its packaging film capacity, setting up of a new pharma grade manufacturing and filling facility, and modification of its refrigerant facility.

SRF will set up a new greenfield packaging film line in the domestic tariff area at a new location near the company’s Indore plant in SEZ at an estimated cost of Rs 356 crore. SRF’s packaging films business, which has plants in Indore and Kashipur (Uttarakhand), has emerged as one of the leading manufacturers of BOPET and BOPP films in the country. (Data Source: Business Standard)

Vacmet India to add 40,000 tonnes capacity BOPP film line
Vacmet India Limited is a leading producer of polyester films, BOPP films, specialty coated films and metallized paper and board in India. Started in 1993 as a specialty coated and metallizing company, has since then taken a big leap, and backward integrated into manufacturing of polyester films, BOPP films and polyester chips. From a mere 1200 tonnes capacity in 1993, Vacmet has grown significantly to reach to 1,30,000 tons in 2017. An additional 40,000 tonne capacity BOPP film line is expected to get started by March 2018, increasing the capacity to more than 1,70,000 tonnes per annum. Currently, Vacmet has five manufacturing sites in India and a wholly owned subsidiary in the UK.

Stronger demand for BOPP
BOPP films are fast becoming an important part of the laminate structure of products. This is because most of the flexible packaging options used for food today are film laminate based. BOPP film is one of the most popular raw materials used by the flexible packaging industry all over the world. Moreover, the growth in demand for this film has been substantial in both developed as well as emerging markets due to its recyclable nature and applicability in various of non- food and food products. BOPP films are used in array of flexible packaging, pressure sensitive tapes, labels as well as lamination applications, thus contributing to the growth in consumption of packaging films.

According to industry experts in India, BOPP packaging film consumption in the country is growing at 10 to 13% annually while the overall growth of the flexible packaging is slightly on the higher side.

Mahan J Hazarika

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