Growing with Agro: Packem launches sustainable ‘big bags’ for grains and opens factories in Brazil and India
By Glauce Cavalcanti – Rio
The Santa Catarina based Packem has developed flexible containers (big bags), packaging used for transportation and packaging of grains, from soy to ore, that are sustainable. They are made of PET resin, replacing polypropylene resin, and are recyclable. The company inaugurates a factory in Santa Catarina and, next year, in India.
The Santa Catarina based Packem, of flexible containers (big bags), polypropylene resin packages for transportation and industrial packaging of grains, with a capacity of 500 kilos to 2 tons, advances with a sustainable version of the product, made of PET resin. It serves agribusiness, mining, and others. The first plant starts operating in November, in Aurora (SC). By 2023, the company will have a manufacturing unit in India.
-We have the first project in the world that substitutes polypropylene resin for PET resin in the production of big bags. It will give circularity to the product, which can be returned and transformed into new containers – explains Eduardo Santos Neto, CEO of Packem.
The company has the capacity to produce six million polypropylene big bags a year, and already has six units in the country in Santa Catarina, Rio Grande do Sul, and Minas Gerais.
The innovation is the result of a two-year journey, started by “provocation” from Yara, a multinational fertilizer company, which was looking for a more sustainable option in containers, says Neto.
– It is a R$80 million project, in partnership with the Austrian company Stalinger, which holds the technology to make the new product, and guaranteed by a purchase contract for Yara’s initial production – he says, explaining that there is no exclusivity in attending Yara.
The PET resin unit will be able to make another 3.2 million big bags a year. And it will double that total by 2025. Packem’s 2022 revenue is expected to grow at least 30% over 2021.
Now, the company has created a joint venture with the Indian Umasree Texplast, a partner for more than a decade, and will have a factory in India by mid-2023. It is a US$15 million investment, 51% of which is from Packem.
– It will be a bridge to the North American and European markets, at a much lower cost than in Brazil – says the executive, saying that Packem has 10% of its revenue coming from exports to South American countries. – There are already customers of the Indian operation that will receive batches from the Brazilian plant before the other one is ready.
India accounts for half of the world big bag market, followed by China, Vietnam, Turkey, and Mexico. The expectation is that in the Indian unit 90% of the production will be exported.
In the partnership with Umasree, the initial production capacity is equivalent to the new plant in Brazil. There, however, the demand will be for smaller big bags, allowing the number of units to be increased.