Sets up joint venture with Ethiraj Timber

Honicel Worldwide, a global major in “honeycomb” products, is setting up its first manufacturing facility in India. The facility, through a 60:40 joint venture with Chennai-based Ethiraj Timber Pvt Ltd, will come up at Ambattur, a key industrial belt in the city.

Mr Henk Krabben, President and CEO of the Netherlands-based Honicel, said the facility will manufacture constructive and packaging products, mainly for the domestic market. According to him, “constructive” is used as “in-fills” which will replace sawdust in plywoods, MDF (medium density fibre boards), and other solid woods and corrugated boards.

While the conventional plywoods are available in 3 mm to 19 mm thickness, boards made of Honicel constructive would range from 10 mm to 100 mm. One palette, weighing about half a tonne, can be used to produce about 400 doors of standard sizes, he explained. Honicel pallets, which are made of recycled paper, are environment-friendly replacement for plywoods as the products are recyclable, renewable, and bio-degradable. “To top it all, it costs around a third of the cost of the conventional construction and packaging materials,” he said.

Mr Giridhara Raj, Diector, Honicel India Pvt Ltd, said in its first phase, the facility will produce 9,000 tonnes of Honeycomb core a year. Sixty per cent of this will go to the packaging industry such as container packing, pharma, food and automobile industries, while the remaining 40 per cent is targeted at manufacturers of internal doors and furniture. “Godrej (in the furniture industry) and Dr Reddy's Laboratories are some of our major clients in India,” he added.

The company is also setting up packaging products manufacturing facilities in Chennai (in the same location), Bangalore and Hyderabad. “We are also exploring more such facilities in other parts of the country, as we want to be close to our customers.”

The company targets a turnover of Rs 300 crore in the first year.

rravikumar@thehindu.co.in

(This article was published on March 7, 2012)
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