Oman-based OCTAL will open an extrusion factory in Cincinnati, US, in December and has joined the National Association for PET Container Resources (NAPCOR) for greater visibility on what it does.
The company has structured its operational platform to keep the DPET flake stream pure so it can be reprocessed back into a high-quality sheet. The US facility will focus primarily on recycling PET sheet flake from its customers and other manufacturers to create a product line composed of both post-industrial and post-consumer flake content, including laminates for modified atmosphere packaging.
NAPCOR is the trade association for the PET plastic packaging industry in the US and Canada.
Joe Barengerg, COO, OCTAL, told FoodProductionDaily it has had its ‘eye’ on NAPCOR for some time because it is an asset to the industry, particularly with its emphasis on use and reuse of PET.
“The extrusion factory in the US has always been part of the master plan. We are shipping significant volumes of DPET sheet and about 35% of that is available as flake by product from the thermoforming process of our customers,” he said.
“The site serves many purposes, but an important one is to consume this flake, helping our thermoformer partners enjoy the economics and logistics benefits of being backward integrated into extrusion but without the investment, leaving scarce capital to go towards the top line generating assets, such as thermoformers.
“OCTAL wants to make a more value added mix available to the market. We see an upside in the continued material substitution of PET for OPS and PVC. Our manufacturing lines will be equipped with the proper capabilities to address opportunities in new segments, including consumer products, modified atmosphere packaging, yogurt, and hot filled food service.”
Barengerg added the firm already had a presence in the US with two offices and more than a dozen employees.
“It is one of our largest sheet markets and adding this facility is a natural extension of our growth ambitions,” he said.
“It solidifies our commitment to the market and our customers and is the first of what will surely be subsequent investments.”
Talking about the company’s growth plans Barengerg said it has 25,000 tons per annum starting up at the extrusion plant in December and will double this soon thereafter.
“We will laminate for MAP packaging and continue to develop performance additives for new high demand markets not currently served by PET with more public news on this later,” he said.
“For OCTAL, we see potential in duplicating our direct to sheet process in several regions in the world, including South America, Europe and North America.
“Our team is also working on duplicating our Cincinnati plant in several strategic regions where we are already strong in sheet, such as eastern Europe, the western US, and western Europe/UK.”
Middle East operations
Operating from the Salalah Free Zone in Oman, OCTAL’s facility expansion has added 600,000 tons per annum of PET bottle-grade resin to the company’s production capacity, enabling production to reach 1m tons per annum.
“OCTAL’s entire management team, its investors and its employees are all highly experienced with doing business in the Middle East. We are fluent in the ways of business here, and there is a comfort in our local relationships that drive our success,” added Barengerg.
“Knowing how to get things done in a way that is beneficial to all the parties involved so that all see the long-term benefit of the investments and commitment of OCTAL has been the lynchpin to our continued success and support in the region. But we like to think this is true across all of our key markets.
“Our key challenge is developing our product lines fast enough to keep up with the evolving tastes and desires of the end user. Staying ahead of development curve is the lifeblood for growth.”
Tom Busard, chief procurement officer, Plastipak Packaging and chairman, NAPCOR, said it welcomes OCTAL to the group.
“We look forward to having their perspective at the table as we navigate PET’s challenges and opportunities,” he added.