$12-billion Aditya Birla Group plans to expand its viscose
staple fibre (VSF) business globally. It already has
a 23-per cent global market share with an installed
capacity of 566ktpa, after a recent ramp-up of 120ktpa.
is also underway at the Group''s VSF manufacturing plants
in Thailand, Indonesia, India and China. In Thailand
the group will add 31ktpa; in Indonesia 37ktpa; in India
64ktpa and in China 30ktpa.
these brownfield expansion plans are completed in the
second quarter of 2008, the Group''s combined VSF production
will rise to 727ktpa at an investment close to $260
Shailendra K Jain, director responsible for the global
pulp and fibre business, "Our growth, going forward,
will be through all options. Over the years we have
been moving away from being a pure commodity player
to a value-added player for the niche segments of the
market. In addition to spun dyed fibres, we have significantly
enhanced our speciality fibre portfolio covering all
generations of man-made cellulosic fibres.
intent is to be an equally significant producer of fibres
for non-woven applications. These brownfield expansions
in Thailand, Indonesia, China and India have been engineered
for the production of speciality fibres for the higher
end of the market and also for the production of fibres
for the fast-growing non-wovens segment."
the current expansion is intended to meet the growing
demand for VSF in thee merging textile hubs of Asia,
the Group also plans to set up of a 90ktpa greenfield
capacity in the Mediterranean region to offers cost
and logistics advantages to the existing VSF operations.
new facility with a focus on high-end products will
enlarge our global footprint and help meet the requirements
of customers in emerging textile hubs of the Middle
East, Mediterranean region and Latin American countries
in a cost effective way," says Jain.
new capacity will also enable the group''s customers
to meet the challenge of increased textile imports from
China post WTO.
Group''s VSF business operates through its three companies
Grasim Industries in India, Thai Rayon Corporation
in Thailand and Indo Bharat Rayon in Indonesia, which
also oversees its Chinese operations at Birla Jingwei
Group has also concurrently expanded its presence in
dissolving grade pulp production to support the raw
material requirement of its VSF operations. The Group
has two pulp plants in Canada and one in India. It has
initiated a pulp and plantation project in Laos to strengthen
its backward integration.
Group says its pulp and fibre business is on top of
the league in the VSF sector globally, factoring an
aggregate view of its financials, margins, geographical
spread, horizontal and vertical integration, product
mix and market presence.