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Piramal Glass Ceylon opens new Plant at Horana

The Piramal Glass Ceylon Plc [ PGC ] inaugurated their new state of the art production facility in Horana with Minister of Industrial Development and Welfare Activities of Police & Armed Forces and Co Chairman of the Kalutara District Coordinating Committee Hon. Kumara Welgama, Chairman Piramal Enerprises Ajay Piramal, Chairman PGC Vijay Shah, the board of directors of PGC as well as the board of directors of Gujarat Glass Company Ltd, The Deputy High Commissioner of India , Mr Manikchem , Mr Santosh Jha – the Consuellor – economic & Commercial from the Indian High Commission in attendance.

The Company’s new Plant which is located on 26 acres of land and was completed in record time, a mere 12 months, saw PGC investing Rs 3.7 billion in this new facility which will result in their production capacity going up to 250 tons of glass per day.

Speaking at the inauguration, Chairman Piramal Enterprises, Ajay Piramal said that the commissioning of the new Plant will result in increased flexibility for bottle manufacturing, with PGC being able to meet the demand for more innovative designs. “This project was commissioned under the 300 factory programme of HE the President of Sri Lanka and it gives me great satisfaction to be a part of the economic growth that Sri Lanka is currently undergoing, whilst further strengthening the ties between our two countries”, said Mr Piramal.

PGC CEO & Executive Director, Sanjay Tiwari said that they would initially have 4 manufacturing lines in operation by Dec’07 , producing 205 tons a day, while the 5th line will be commissioned during the first quarter of FY 2008-09. “Our production capacity will then go up to 250 tons per day, with flint, amber and coloured bottles ranging in size from 50 ml to 2.5 litres” with all 5 lines in operation ,said Tiwari. He added that the Company was already producing more than 150 varieties of bottles, catering to over 200 customers for a range of industries including the pharmaceutical, soft and hard liquor, carbonated drinks, food and beverages, cosmetics, perfume and agro chemical sectors.

“With the completion of this facility, the Company’s installed capacity for glass production will increase from the present 100 tons per day to 250 tons per day. The downstream flexibility for manufacturing is also being enhanced by two additional lines, thereby resulting in a total of 5 manufacturing lines, while it will be equipped with the latest automatic inspection machines as well as a chemical coating facility”.
Tiwari said that in order to service their customers during this period of transition, the Company had built up a stockpile of bottles which had enabled them to meet their demands without serious interruptions. “The old Plant in Ratmalana has been mothballed and with the commissioning of our new Plant there will be employment generated to over 500 persons both directly as well as indirectly. We have already signed a collective bargaining agreement with the Inter company Union for the next 3 years, including the amicable relocation of people and I am pleased to say we enjoy a most cordial relationship with the Union”, said Tiwari.
Tiwari added that they were also upgrading the Nattandaya Sand Processing Plant. The Company’s sales too had gone up during the half year period by 15% to Sri Lankan Rupees 973 million while Profit after Tax was up by 22% to Sri Lankan Rupees 88 million.

The Company’s performance in the 2nd Quarter in its own showed a growth of 20% in sales. The profit after tax in the 2nd Quarter displayed a growth of 29% as against the corresponding Quarter of the previous year. PGC has seen a continuous growth in its Export Sales over the past few years. In the first half of the current financial year PGC’s export sales were in excess of 10% of the Company’s total sales, as against 5% during the whole of the previous financial year 2006/07. “Coloured wine and liquor bottle sales to India have been a main contributor to this achievement. It is encouraging to note that the Export growth in the 1st half of the current financial year is more than 290% as compared to 108% during the corresponding period of the previous year”.

With the commissioning of the new Plant the Company’s current production capacity for manufacturing coloured bottles of different shapes would be more than doubled. Tiwari added that this would enable PGC to export larger volumes of different coloured and shaped wine bottles to all major wine producing countries.

According to Mr Vijay Shah , Chairman of Piramal Glass Ceylon , the world market for Food and Beverage glass is over US$ 12 billion and is growing at 12%, the Cosmetic and Perfume glass is US$ 1.9 billion US$ and growing at 5%, while the Pharmaceutical glass market is approximately US$ 2 bilion. Key Markets for specialty Food and Drinks are the US and Europe which are forecasted to be US$125 billion by 2009 with the Compounded Annual Growth Rate [ CAGR ] being 5%. He also said that the growing worldwide demand for specialty glass containers have presented opportunities for the Company to enter the niche market for coloured glass containers. “We are already the sole supplier of blue bottles for a major brand of the world’s second largest liquor producing company and we are currently exploring export opportunities in India, the Philippines, Mauritius, and Australia”. Mr Shah added that the domestic demand for glass containers too had grown, all of which were contributing factors that had made PGC invest in the new production facility.

PGC were also the recipients of the Gold Award in the Consumer Packaging category at the recently concluded Packaging Awards. “This award was given to us in recognition of the development of the unique 750 ml Blue Antiquity Liquor Bottle which was developed for one of the largest liquor manufacturers in the world. In fact we are the only manufacturers in the whole of South East Asia with the capabilities to produce such a bottle”, said Tiwari. “With the completion of our new facility in Horana we are confident of still bettering our performance, whilst emerging as one of the leading glass manufacturing companies within the region” said Tiwari.

Mr Tiwari , also acknowledge the contribution of the Gujarat Glass Project team headed by Mr I P Vora, Group project head, Mr H N Desai, Vice president Projects who along with the entire team of Gujarat Glass wholeheartedly supported and ensured the timely completion of the project. He added the contribution of the Ceylon Glass Project team Headed by Mr Salinda D Silva and the operation team headed by Mr Udaya Hettige , General Manager of Ceylon Glass contribution to the project for completion in record time.

He also mentioned the contribution of Ms Maga Engineering, Ms Sorg, Ms Illukumbra , Ms BMK, Ms Bottero, Ms Transweigh, etc for their timely efforts for the completion. He mention in his speech the support by the Board of Investment for partial completion of the construction of the Roads and helping the company for faster clearance of import consigment, Ceylon Electricity Board, Local Government Bodies, Ministry of Industries, All bankers to the project with DFCC leading the consortium.

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