Chemicals, colour and plastic products manufacturer Blend Group has announced plans to build a US$10 million (AED 37 million) production plant in Sharjah Airport International Free Zone (SAIF Zone). The new facility, which is expected to be completed by mid-2016, will increase the group’s production capacity from 1,200 tonnes per month to 2,500 tonnes per month.
SAIF Zone has proved popular with plastics firms such as Alliance Plastics FZE, Alpha Plastix Industry FZC and Rowad National Plastic Company Ltd. Last year, plastics converter Alliance Plastics announced plans to invest AED 15-20 million (US$ 4-5.5m) in new facilities in the free zone. Sharjah’s Hamriyah Free Zone, which is a base for more than 140 plastics companies, has also identified the plastics industry for future growth.
Blend Group, which was formed in 2011 as a joint venture of Skyline Group and Aziz Group, manufactures high-quality colour, white, black, additive, fillers and plastic master batches for plastics manufacturers in the GCC and African subcontinent. However, the group plans to target European markets and later North America. Blend has also acquired 155,000 square feet of additional land to allow for further expansion.
The new production unit will include a section for the manufacturing of calcium carbonate and master batches, research and testing labs to maintain the quality and controls, inward and outward logistics as well as administrative buildings.
The UAE currently has the second largest plastic converter production in the GCC, after Saudi Arabia accounting for 19% of GCC production. According to the Gulf Petrochemicals and Chemicals Association (GPCA), the region’s plastics conversion industry is expected to grow to 7.5 million tonnes in capacity by the year 2020, approximately 40% more than current production levels.
Source: Blend Group, SAIF Zone