Schott expands its pharma tubing capacity in India    

Growing demand for pharma packaging 

Glass tubing is used to manufacture ampules
Glass tubing is used to manufacture ampules

German speciality glass manufacturer Schott is expanding its pharmaceutical tubing capacity in India by investing in a new tank facility at its plant in Jambusar near Vadodara in Gujarat. Schott is investing euros 20 million in building the new tank which is expected to be ready by January 2020. A ground-breaking ceremony was held at the plant on 17 October.

“The new tank will increase Schott Glass India’s tubing capacity by 50%,” Georg Sparschuh, managing director, Schott Glass India managing director said. He did not disclose the current tubing capacity of Schott Glass India. “As per our policy we do not talk about our exact manufacturing capacities.”

The new tank will fulfil the demand for premium glass tubing which is used in manufacturing pharmaceutical packaging items like ampules and vials. The Jambusar plant is the hub for Schott pharmaceutical tubing in Asia and produces Fiolax brand of pharmaceutical tubing. 

Georg Sparschuh (in the background) and Partrick Markschlaeger of Schott
Georg Sparschuh (in the background) and Partrick Markschlaeger of Schott

The new tank will also help increase the share of exports to other Asian markets including China. According to Sparschuh, due to unprecedented growth in demand for glass tubing in India in 2017, the overall share of exports declined from 35% to 15-20% last year. But with the expansion in capacity Schott Glass India’s share in exports is expected to go back to the earlier level.

“Indian market is our priority and we saw a very high rate of growth in demand for tubing last year, as high as 35%. Because of this, share of exports declined as it is our priority to serve Indian customers first. However, with the new tank we expect to get back to the previous levels soon. Our aim is to have a healthy mix of domestic as well as overseas customers,” Sparschuh said.

Partrick Markschlaeger, executive vice president, Schott AG, business unit tubing said, “We estimate a market growth for premium packaging and therefore for tubing to continue on a very strong level in coming years. In addition to the supply to the domestic market, Schott Tubing India will also serve strong growing Asian market outside India and will therefore be an important hub for Asian market.”

Markschlaeger said that demand growth seen last year in India was exceptional and it will come down but will still remain in a healthy range of about 6-10%.

At present the fast-growing Chinese market is being serviced by the Jambusar plant but according to Sparschuh, Schott is looking to set up a manufacturing unit there as well. Although he did not give any specific timeline by when a concrete decision will be taken.