By Andy Sambidge
OCTAL chairman says export volumes expected to triple over next two years.
Oman-based packaging firm OCTAL is on course to become a $1 billion company by 2011, with export volumes to global markets expected to triple over the next two years, company chiefs have said.
OCTAL chairman Sheikh Saad Suhail Bahwan said total sales of polyethylene terephthalate (PET) were $25 million in June and would reach $100 million per month by the middle of 2011.
OCTAL ships more than 1,200 containers per month from Oman and now accounts for 85 percent of import-export traffic through the port of Salalah.
Saad said: “Despite the downturn, our business is growing on the strength of scale, reliability of supply and product quality offered by our advanced manufacturing operation in Salalah Free Zone.
"In two years we will be a $1 billion company. We are winning new customers while the competition cuts back or closes down and making steady progress in converting the market to PET.”
OCTAL, which opened the world’s first integrated PET resin and sheet complex in January, exports to more than 60 customers in 33 markets. It has also substituted 90 percent of PET resin imports into Oman, valued at nearly $42 million a year.
June was OCTAL’s busiest month to date, with 22,000 metric tons (m/t) of PET resin and sheet sold to local, regional and international customers.
OCTAL exports 66 percent of its products to Europe, 30 percent to North America, and the remainder to Middle East and Asian markets.
OCTAL produces PET resin for soft drink, water and edible oil packaging, and PET sheet, the world’s fastest growing material in clear rigid plastics, which is used for food, dairy and consumer product packaging.
Built at an initial cost of $350 million, OCTAL’s integrated PET complex has a production capacity of 330,000 metric tons, which will rise to 830,000 m/t following the completion of a second phase of expansion in 2011.
OCTAL has already closed on the equity and mezzanine financing it needs to complete phase two of its expansion, the company said.
Since its official launch in 2006, OCTAL has secured US$194 million in long-term loans and $68 million in working capital loans from Bank Muscat and Bank Dhofar.
OCTAL Petrochemicals is a wholly-owned subsidiary of OCTAL Holding & Company SAOC, a joint stock company listed on the Muscat Securities Exchange.