Category Archives: Industry News

Packaging sector seeks industry status


The packaging sector is the backbone of all industries and the government should grant industry status to it in order to reap maximum benefits, said Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) Management Committee Regional Chairman Punjab Muhammad Nadeem Qureshi.

Talking to representatives of the All Pakistan Corrugated Cartons Manufacturers Association at the FPCCI regional office on Tuesday, Qureshi stressed that the corrugated cartons manufacturing sector held significant importance in all industries.

Elaborating, he said that the widespread popularity of online businesses and e-commerce had increased the importance and value of corrugated cartons sector.

“Corrugated cartons are the first choice for many product and service businesses due to their efficiency, durability and dependability,” he remarked.

Referring to the prime minister’s third amnesty scheme, Qureshi underlined that Pakistani industrialists could invest in the country’s manufacturing sector and set up new units at 5% tax rate without any fear of investigation into the source of investment.

Regarding the federal budget for fiscal year 2022-23, he said that the business community should also focus on the budget as “it is the right time for the submission of pre-budget proposals to negotiate with the government”.

He pointed out that it would be difficult to negotiate once the federal budget was ready.

The small and medium enterprise (SME) sector was the backbone of the economy and it contributed immensely to uplifting the industries and creating employment opportunities, he said.

The SME sector “only requires exposure to export its products and once it is achieved, Pakistan’s balance of trade will improve”, he added.

On the occasion, the senior management of the association urged the FPCCI to play its role in achieving industry status for the packaging sector.

Qureshi assured the sector of the chamber’s full cooperation in solving the problems.

Source: Packaging sector seeks industry status (  

Plastic industry on the rise


Increased use of plastic in industrial and domestic sectors has transformed it to a full-fledged industry, which will become the second-largest sector of the economy after textile, remarked Faisalabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FCCI) President Atif Munir Sheikh.

Speaking at the annual general meeting of the Faisalabad Plastic Association on Friday, he underlined that plastic had replaced costly metals and it was being used to manufacture cheap industrial and domestic products for everyday use.

“We will encourage the association to enhance liaison with the FCCI for the resolution of its problems,” he maintained.

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Engro Polymer, Tianchen China sign contract to set up plant

KARACHI: Engro Polymer and Chemicals signed an agreement with a Chinese company to set up a manufacturing facility with an annual production capacity of 100,000 metric tons.

“In continuation of the disclosure provided by Engro Polymer and Chemicals Limited on December 28, 2017, wherein the company had announced approval of capacity expansion of PVC, it is intimated that the company has signed a contract with Tianchen Corp China for an integrated manufacturing facility with an annual production capacity of 100,000 mt,” Engro Polymer said in a statement to the Pakistan Stock Exchange.

Engro Polymer earlier said it would be adding a new production line of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) after demand for the chemical continued to surge significantly in the country mainly due to a boom in construction activities along with improving prices.

The company planned to invest around Rs10 billion for expansion of the plant to make raw materials for PVC and caustic soda and upgrading its captive (gas-fired) power plant with the installed capacity of 59 megawatts.

Out of the total capital expenditure, the company would spend Rs7.6 billion on addition and debottlenecking of PVC and other chemical plants that would be arranged through issuance of right shares of approximately Rs5.4 billion and Rs2.2 billion through debt financing.

Engro Polymer and Chemicals Limited is the only fully integrated chlor-vinyl chemical complex in Pakistan. It is a subsidiary of Engro Corporation involved in the manufacturing, marketing and distribution of chlor-vinyl allied products and PVC under brand name ‘SABZ’. It has more than 70 percent of local market share.


Engro Polymer signs $35m Ijarah-based financing facility with IFC

KARACHI: Engro Polymer and Chemicals Limited (EPCL) has announced financing of $35 million from International Finance Corporation to expand its production plant of Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) – a chemical used in making numerous plastic products construction materials like water and sewerage pipes, cables, and consumer items like shoes, packaging films.

This financing was a part of the initial Rs10.3 billion expansion plan announced earlier, out of which Rs5.4 billion has already been raised from the issue of right shares.

Engro Polymer has been associated with IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, since its inception. EPCL, which remains the industry leader being the sole producer of PVC resin in Pakistan, disclosed adding a new production line of PVC after demand for the chemical continued to surge significantly in the country mainly owing to a boom in construction activities.

Speaking on the occasion, EPCL CEO Syed Abbas Raza said, “This financing of $35 million would not only fund our expansion plan but would also bring precious foreign exchange to the country. The funds from IFC will contribute towards the completion of the expansion project, paving the pathway for development of construction activities in Pakistan.”

EPCL announced investing over Rs10 billion for expansion of the plants, including those producing other related chemicals like VCM (raw material for PVC), and adding a new product to its portfolio named ‘caustic soda flakes’. While expanding the business, EPCL will add a new PVC plant with a capacity of 100,000 tonnes (taking total capacity to 295,000 tonnes per annum) and increase production of VCM by 50,000 tonnes through debottlenecking of the existing plant by the third quarter of 2020.

Engro Polymer aims toward converting all its long-term debts on principles of Islamic finance mode. EPCL Treasury Head Bilal Ahmed stated, “The company is also in a process of issuance Sukuks to refinance the existing debt on the company’s balance sheet. We aim to complete the exercise before the end of 2018.”

IFC Asia and Pacific Vice President Nena Stoiljkovic said, “Engro Polymer’s success highlights the potential of the private sector to build capacity and transform industries through the adoption of better technology and standards. This investment will send a strong market signal on the positive outlook for the chemical sector, besides showcasing Pakistan’s promise to mitigate climate change.”


Engro Polymer & Chemicals to enter hydrogen peroxide business with $23m investment

LAHORE: Engro Polymer and Chemicals (EPCL) has announced it would enter the hydrogen peroxide business with a greenfield investment of $23 million.

The project will be funded through internal cash generation.”

Furthermore, it said “Engro Polymer & Chemicals Limited derives hydrogen as part of its caustic manufacturing process. Currently, hydrogen is largely being used as fuel which is not the best value creation for hydrogen.

Also, the company said the board of directors also directed the management to evaluate further capacity expansion in this space and/or other avenues of diversification.

Adnan Sheikh Pak Kuwait Investment Co AVP Research told Profit, “EPCL has announced a $23m venture into the hydrogen peroxide business.

Based on the investment, plant size could be around 30-40k tons per annum.”

“Existing players like Descon and Sitara Chemicals get the supply of hydrogen by cracking natural gas which consumes a lot of electricity and costs these companies a lot more to produce as compared to Engro Polymer & Chemical, which will be undercutting it in that regard,” said Adnan.

“It can be estimated that around 30 percent of the cost is hydrogen and hydrogen peroxide has become a very lucrative commodity recently as international prices have nearly doubled in 2018 due to short supply,” added Adnan.

Furthermore, Mr Adnan said around 10,000-20,000 tons of hydrogen peroxide is imported and with dollar depreciation, local producers have even more room to raise prices.”

He believed the extent of EPCL’s investment could enable it to also export the commodity and save the country precious foreign exchange at a time when import bill has surged to record highs.

At end of last month, Engro Polymer had announced it signed a contract with Tianchen Corp China (TCC) for an integrated manufacturing facility with an annual capacity of 100,000 MT per annum for capacity expansion of PVC plant.

In the end of December 2017, EPCL had notified the Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX), informing its board of directors had approved a capital expenditure of Rs10.3 billion for the addition of a new PVC Plant and various other projects.

Also, a major capital expenditure was approved by Engro Polymer’s BOD was for a new PVC plant having 100,000 MT (taking total capacity to 295,000 MT per annum) & VCM Plant debottlenecking of 50,000 MT per annum, with target completion in Q3 of 2020, the notification read.

The project was set to cost around Rs7.6 billion, which was to be funded through the issuance of right shares of approximately Rs5.4 billion and remainder Rs2.2 billion will be funded via debt.

Other capital expenditures of Rs2.7 billion were also given go-ahead was to be funded through a mix of internal cash and debt, which includes “new product line by adding caustic flaker of 20,000 MT per annum. CAPEX of the project is approximately Rs 0.34 billion with target completion in Q4 of 2018”.

Also, the notification had stated “Debottlenecking of Sodium Hypochlorite & Hydrochloric Acid Plants for local/export markets. CAPEX of the project is approximately Rs 0.15 billion with target completion in Q3 of 2018.”

Furthermore, Engro Polymer approved membrane replacement of current caustic soda plant to improve efficiency and production and the capital expenditure for this project is estimated to be around Rs0.6 billion, with a completion deadline of Q3 2018.

Engro Polymer & Chemicals Limited (EPCL) is the only fully integrated Chlor-Vinyl chemical complex in Pakistan.

It is a subsidiary of Engro Corporation, involved in the manufacturing, marketing and distribution of quality Chlor-Vinyl allied products and PVC under the brand name ‘SABZ’.

EPCL shares were trading at Rs33.31, up Rs0.18. KSE-100 index was trading at 40,890.78 points, down 375.61 points (-0.91 percent) at the time of filing this report.


Pakistan uses 55 billion shopping bags every year

Islamabad – Pakistanis use 55 billion polyethylene shopping bags every year, a severe environmental threat, as these high density bags may take over two decades to degrade.

According to Ministry of Climate Change data, the use of plastic bags is on the rise at the rate of 15 percent per year.

There are about 8,021 production units in the country with average production capacity of 250-500 kgs per day, majority of them are cottage industry.

Approximately, 160,000 people are directly, and 600,000 people are indirectly dependent on plastic bag industry.

After the 18th constitutional amendment, Pakistan Environmental Protection Agency is mandated with its function under Pakistan Environmental Protection Act 1997 for protection, conservation and rehabilitation of environment in Islamabad Capital Territory. Pak-EPA had prohibited manufacturing sale and usage through district management but due to weak implementation, plastic bags are available at almost every store of capital no matter small or big.

According to officials, brick kilns are the major sources of pollution in capital. In order to reduce harmful emissions from brick kilns, the government will implement vertical shaft brick kiln technology. According to officials of Ministry of Climate Change, construction of a model brick kiln unit based on zigzag and vertical shaft brick kiln technology is underway with assistance of Swiss authorities. The brick kiln association is keen to switch over to new technology once it is successfully demonstrated for operation in Pakistan.

With the assistance of CDA and ICT, 16 brick kilns have been removed and shifted to the outer periphery of ICT. 27 brick kilns located in Zone IV and V near Benazir Bhutto International Airport have been demolished and brick kilns located within a radius of 12kms of airport would be shifted elsewhere and those located between the radiuses of 12kms to 20kms would have to install smoke control devices.

There are 12 steel units which are causing pollution in Sector I-9/I-10, despite strict monitoring and legal action. Nine steel mills have installed on-line dust monitoring system, which is under monitoring by Pak-EPA and their efficiency is regularly checked. Legal action has been initiated by Pak-EPA against non-compliant steel mills for issuance of environmental protection order and its subsequent enforcement through ICT administration, official said.

During previous campaigns, Pak-EPA in collaboration with Islamabad Traffic Police checked over 40,000 public and private vehicles for exhaust emissions in Islamabad.

No doubt all above steps are very little as compare to pollution problem, but due to limited resources and lack of equipment, the EPA have not able to do much since last twenty years, said a senior official. He stressed the need of political will in implementing existing laws to eliminate pollution from capital and rest of the country and not cosmetic steps just to create media hype.


GSK Pakistan Invests Rs74m to introduce dessiflex packaging technology in Pakistan

GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) Pakistan has introduced a specialized form of blister packaging technology in the country, Pakistan’s leading antibiotic, Augmentin which will now be available in dessiflex packaging.

In a pioneering step, which involved an investment of Rs74 million, GSK Pakistan also became the first site to introduce this technology in its global network.

Speaking on this occasion, GSK Pakistan CEO, Muhammad Azizul Huq, says, “along with the benefits to our patients, GSK Pakistan is proud to be the first country in the GSK network to introduce dessiflex technology, and we look forward to transferring expertise to the rest of our global markets.”

Co-amoxiclav, or Augmentin, is highly sensitive to moisture, and given GSK’s standards of quality, conventional blister packaging proved insufficient to maintain the necessary efficacy of the drug. Dessiflex technology uses a layer of micro-desiccant particles to provide enhanced protection for moisture sensitive tablets, like Augmentin. For patients, in addition to ensuring uncompromised quality, dessiflex blister packaging will also provide easier dose tracking, more safety, and greater convenience as compared to bottles.



Caltex launches its auto engine lubricant in a refreshed packaging

KARACHI: Chevron Pakistan Lubricants (Pvt) Limited unveiled the new, sleek and attractive packing of their Caltex Havoline® with Deposit Shield® Technology range of lubricants in the country. The launch of the new packaging was done at an impressive event hosted at a local hotel, which was attended by key channel partners and customers from across the country.

Mr Najam Shamsuddin, Country Chairman and Area Business Manager Pakistan added that “drivers today want to protect what really matters, the investment they made in their vehicles and its performance, Havoline with deposit shield technology that provides a proven solution that helps to maintain engine performance, preserves engine life, while maximizing fuel economy. The new packaging design complements and gives a fresh and eye-catching look. As technology progresses and our customers continue to explore and purchase different types they can be assured that Havoline’s engine oils are developed to address the needs of all drivers so they can enjoy their journey better”

Chevron Pakistan Lubricants (Private) Limited, an indirect subsidiary of Chevron Corporation, one of the world’s largest integrated energy companies, trades under the Caltex® brand in Pakistan, and markets its lubricants products in the country under the Havoline® and Delo® brands, which have a well-established and outstanding reputation for reliability and unsurpassed performance.

Chevron has an over 75 year legacy of service in the lubricants industry in the region which constitutes Pakistan, having entered the market in 1938.

Chevron Pakistan Lubricants has nation-wide operations with its Head Office based in Karachi and regional offices and concerns in all the major cities of the country, as well as 100 + world-class oil change facilities spread across Pakistan.

The company also has a state-of-the-art computerized lubricants blending plant in West Wharf, Karachi, which exemplifies the highest safety and operational excellence standards in the industry and is a hallmark of the company’s technical superiority.

The nation-wide marketing campaign for the new packaging of Havoline® with Deposit Shield® Technology packs is being covered across various media including television, print, radio, digital and outdoor. Besides, we will be attracting major audience traction from creative end-customer engagements planned around the transformation of the product range.


Around 55 Bln Plastic Shopping Bags Being Used Amid 15% Rise Per Annum

ISLAMABAD, (28th Jan, 2018 ):Around 55 billion plastic shopping bags are being used each year in Pakistan as their usage is on rise at rate of 15 per cent per annum.

Pakistan Environmental Protection Agency (Pak-EPA) had conducted a national survey which revealed that there are about 8,021 production units in the country with average production capacity of 250-500 kg per day and majority of them are cottage industry.

Approximately, 1,60,000 people are directly, and 600,000 people are indirectly dependent on this industry. When contacted official sources at Climate Change Division on Sunday highlighted negative impacts of indiscriminate use of plastic in any shape on environment in general and on human being in particular.

The sources said used plastic shoppers are notorious for choking sewer, open drainage system, spoiling sanitation and creating an overall unaesthetic view of environment. The practice of burning them on street sides at dumpsites produces dioxins and furans responsible for producing serious diseases.

Plastic bags take much longer to degrade (not biodegrade) than paper bags.

Under the best circumstances, high density polyethylene will take more than 20 years to degrade. The manufacturers of the plastic bags oppose the ban on plastic bags, arguing that employment of thousands of persons depends upon such cottage industries which manufacture polyethylene bags.

The ban will render many people jobless. The sources said Pak-EPA examined that different countries have addressed the plastic bags issues in following ways: These include complete ban on manufacturing and use of plastic bags, increasing price of bags by levy of additional taxes or cost, promoting use of paper and cotton bags, increasing thickness of the bags, and banning manufacturing of non-degradable plastic bags and introduction of degradable plastic bags.

It has been analyzed that banning of plastic bags across the board would not be a viable solution as these bags have become a part of our daily life. It would be difficult to get such an order implemented.

The sources said, “We have example of Balochistan province, where an ordinance to ban all kind of plastic bags was promulgated but could not be implemented due to non-cooperation of manufacturers and consumers.

” The solution to control plastic bags issue could be tackled through combination of the measures which include: banning manufacturing, selling and usage of non-degradable plastic bags in the country, increasing thickness of degradable bags to 30 microns, promoting use of cotton bags through awareness campaign and rationalizing tariff in favor of manufacturing of paper bags and concession on import of automatic paper bag machinery.

The sources said degradable plastic bags are classified into categories including Oxy-degradable, Photo-degradable and Bio-degradable. Out of all above three types, oxy-degradable is the best option as these bags gets disintegrated in presence of oxygen, whether through atmosphere or from water. In other words, these bags get destroyed in presence of air and water.


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