SEREMBAN: The Baerlocher Group of Companies, one of the world’s top producers of additives for the plastics industry, expects its Malaysian operations to register a marginally higher turnover of RM220mil this year despite a slowdown in the global economy and challenges facing the industry.Group chief executive officer Arne Schulle said
its Malaysian set-up, which began operations in 1994, also expects to maintain its EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation) at RM36mil with a more challenging environment.
Schulle said with the plastics industry facing many changes, the group will work towards developing innovative, sustainable and efficient products to optimise customer needs as well as production processes. “Baerlocher Malaysia, a competent and reliable partner for the industry, is well prepared for these challenges.”
“Having demonstrated our competitiveness in the Asian market, I can envision a further significant growth in terms of capacity and development activity here in Malaysia, ” he said at the opening of Baerlocher Malaysia’s ninth production line, warehouse and new office building at the Taman Tuanku Ja’afar Industrial Estate here by International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Darell Leiking
Leiking was represented by the ministry’s deputy secretary-general (industry) Datuk K.Talagavathi.
Schulle said the latest RM43mil investment in its Malaysian plant, which was a global manufacturer of PVC stabilisers and metal soaps, was not only to increase production capacity for polymer and non-polyment applications but was to set the stage for future technical developments.
With the new facility, Baerlocher Malaysia’s annual capacity will increase to 50,000 metric tonnes as against 12,000 metric tonnes previously.
Over 90% of its products are exported to Australia, Bangladesh, China, Indonesia, Myanmar, New Zealand, Pakistan, Philippines, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Thailand, Vietnam and the middle east. He said the group remained upbeat of its Malaysian operations as it had qualified people, a reliable administration and had proximity to important feed stock.
“We should not forget that next to already existing market, the ‘One Road One Belt Initiative’ may accelerate various infrastructure projects.
“We believe Baerlocher Malaysia will be the right and trusted partner for customers participating in that development, ” he said.
Baerlocher Malaysia managing director Sethu Palaniappan said when the company started operations 25 years ago, it only had two lines and a turnover of RM20mil. “With the expansion in place, we are determined to focus on value added activities and are exploring automation and bringing developed global standards into Malaysia.”
“One such major initiave is the development of non-lead or environmental stabilising systems, ” he said, adding that the Seremban plant was ready to tap into the new standards to serve customers who plan to migrate to non-lead stabilising systems.
Leiking, in his speech read by Talagavathi, said the plastic products industry saw a noteworthy growth in 2018 with 61 projects approved involving investments of RM1.86bil.
These, he said, will help create 2,841 jobs. In 2017, the total investments received amounted to RM714.2mil.
“Foreign investments made up almost two-thirds of total investments or RM1.18 billion last year, ” he said. Leiking said with some 1,300 companies operating, the plastic products industry is one of the most vibrant industries in Malaysia’s manufacturing sector.