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Oman-based Octal Petrochemicals is aiming for sales of $200 million to Europe this year as it prepares to attend the world’s largest event for the packaging industry in April in Germany.
A subsidiary of Octal Holding and Company, Octal now earns more than half of its revenue from exports to Europe. “We are experiencing strong demand from the UK, Germany, the Benelux countries and Southern Europe, and the potential for growth across the European continent is significant,” said Rashid Saif Al Sadi, Director of Octal Petrochemicals. That is why we are making a large investment in Interpack of around $300,000.”
Al Sadi said: “We will be sending a large delegation from the US and Oman to Germany, which shows the success Octal is having in Europe. We are in talks with the major European packaging companies, thermoformers and retail brands. The next step this year will be to open a sales office on the continent, probably in France.”
Octal expects total sales of its APET (amorphous polyethylene terephthalate) sheet packaging and PET resin to reach $500m per annum by the end of 2008, around one fifth of the world market for APET, and to achieve a solid position in the growing European PET industry.
Octal, which is investing $300m in proprietary technology and custom engineered production lines to manufacture both PET resin and APET rigid films, started initial operations in December 2006.
Global monthly sales currently exceed $3.5m, a reflection of the growth in convenience food packaging and the increasing use of clear rigid packaging for consumer products.
Octal’s plant is the first of its kind to be developed that is dedicated to APET production from resin to sheet. Sophisticated equipment developed by Octal delivers an APET sheet with superior gauge control, gloss and transparency, factors which save on production costs, the company said. The uniformity of Octal’s PET resin is another cost advantage.
Nicholas Barakat, Managing Director of Octal, said: “The growth of APET as a packaging material has been strong. Global trends show there is a three to four million metric ton market in the making. We aim to deliver the highest quality and most consistent APET sheet to our thermoforming, brand and retailer partners, enabling them to achieve the highest level of productivity and yield. The PET market is also growing rapidly, that’s why we are positioning ourselves as the largest PET manufacturer in the Middle East.”
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