Solvay’s new Rs 500 crore investment in India


Multi-specialty chemical company Solvay caters to multiple industries including pharmaceutical and consumer packaging. In the consumer packaging segment, Solvay’s high barrier polymers offer combined water vapor, oxygen barrier and heat sealing properties for protecting fresh food, convenience food, dry food and wrapped food. Food packaging materials from Solvay include fluorinated fluids (Solvera PFPE) used as surface treatment for oil- and grease-resistant packaging.

In India, the company has engagement primarily with the pharmaceutical industry when it comes to packaging applications. Solvay talked about its solutions at Plastindia 2018, which was held in Gandhinagar, Gujarat last month.

“We have a lot of customers in India from the pharma segment who are using our solutions for niche applications—mostly for the export market,” says Amlan Das, managing director for India at Solvay’s Specialty Polymers.

Solvay has a plant in India at Panoli, Gujarat, where it manufactures high-end solutions—ether ketone and polyethersulfone. Almost 99% of the manufactured product is exported. Das informed that the company will begin manufacturing membrane polyethersulfone (PESU) at Panoli by the second half of this year.

“Keeping in mind the government’s ‘Make in India’ initiative, we will soon start membrane polyethersulfone production at Panoli and for that we will invest Rs 500 crore. This also shows our faith in the Indian market, which will only continue in the times ahead,” Das said.

Das said the new membrane grade PESU will cater to sectors such as healthcare, including dialysis treatment and pharmaceuticals, and water purification.

The Covid-19 pandemic led to the country-wide lockdown on 25 March 2020. It will be two years tomorrow as I write this. What have we learned in this time? Maybe the meaning of resilience since small companies like us have had to rely on our resources and the forbearance of our employees as we have struggled to produce our trade platforms.

The print and packaging industries have been fortunate, although the commercial printing industry is still to recover. We have learned more about the digital transformation that affects commercial printing and packaging. Ultimately digital will help print grow in a country where we are still far behind in our paper and print consumption and where digital is a leapfrog technology that will only increase the demand for print in the foreseeable future.

Web analytics show that we now have readership in North America and Europe amongst the 90 countries where our five platforms reach. Our traffic which more than doubled in 2020, has at times gone up by another 50% in 2021. And advertising which had fallen to pieces in 2020 and 2021, has started its return since January 2022.

As the economy approaches real growth with unevenness and shortages a given, we are looking forward to the PrintPack India exhibition in Greater Noida. We are again appointed to produce the Show Daily on all five days of the show from 26 to 30 May 2022.

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