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January, 2011
International Plastic News
December, 2010
Al Bayaan
December, 2010
Al Iqtasadi
December, 2010
Emaraat Al Youm
December, 2010
Duplas: Plastics packaging industry saw
growth of 15-20% in first three quarters of 2010
July, 2008
Middle East used as test market platform.

July, 2007
Dubai based processor sees future tied to value added goods.

June, 2007
Duplas invest Dh5m to expend plastics production.

Dubai-based processor sees future tied to
value-added goods

by Robert Colvin

Automation is proving the key to this middle-eastern blow molder as costs continue to rise and the operation seeks to remain competitive.
Costs are a major issue even when the processor is closed to the resin source says Mohammed A. Nofal, General Manager of Duplas Al Sharq (Dubai, UAE).

His operation which extrusion blow moulds polycarbonates water bottle as well as High –density polyethylene (HDPE) containers for Lubricant ranging from 250ml to 5 gal, had seen a roller coaster ride of resin prices that make long-term planning chaotic.

In January 2006 Duplas pay about $1000/ton for HDPE AND IN September the same year the price has shot up to $1450/ton. In January this year we paid $1250/ton and in
may we expect to pay $1400/ton, “Nofal said during a meeting in April.  “These are non-calculable costs that are difficult-to-imposable to pass on to our customers. What we need is price stability for a long term. “Those customer include house-hold cleaning product supplier Reckitt Benckiser Arabia; brand owners. In the personal care, dairy, edible oil and juice markets; and the processor is in discussion to supply Abu Dhabi-based oil producer ADNOC.

The 70 employee operation has a capacity of 30million bottles/yr and just invested in new equipment to produce 4 degree angle bottle necks.
To counter Rambunctious resin pricing Duplas relies heavily on a high degree of automation. The processing operation that started in 2002 is a joint venture owned 49% by Ali Al Shehri, a Saudi partner and rest controlled by Emirates development and investment Co. A local holding that own 15 other diversified operations. So far Duplas is the only Plastic processor in the group. 

Duplas boosts a machine park of nine magic (Monza, Italy) extrusion blow molding units, one ASB Nissel (Naganoken, Japan) injection blow molding machines for PET bottles, and two Engel (Schwartzberg, Austria).Injection molding machines for caps and closures production.

All units are equipped with rapid (Bredaryd, Sweden) recycling granulators to automatically reefed all production waste back into the processing stream, an important point in cutting resin costs, says Nofal, Duplas also have eight colored UV printing and inline labeling equipment.

But Nofal points to the company’s investment in gravimetric dosing units as responsible for achieving substantial cost savings. The six Maguire (Tamworth, England) units are used to dose color master batch sourced from Astra polymers (Alkhobar, Saudi Arabia) and local supplier Ener plastics.

From the start Duplas avoided manually mixing and feeding which would have resulted in poor dispersion and tendency to over color to compensate for variations, he says. Gravimetric dosing allows precise use colorants and therefore cost savings as well as the ability to reallocate the manpower to more productive work.

Because of the limited storage the company demands for the JIT deliveries from its vendors no limit master batch stocks the entire plant is networked with the Navision ERP system so that anyone time Nofal can check from his PC, each machine’s output resins and additives availability, sale, costs and the and the status of the maintenance operations. The plant is also air-conditioned to prevent condensation on its blow molds.

Today experts play only a small role in the processor’s output. “Demand here in the UAE is growing so fast that it is taking the majority of the outputs”, says Nofal. Nevertheless the company will make a decision about expanding output later this year. It is also thinking about entering another sector that is booming- in Dubai the extruded plastic profiles and the siding market for the building and construction industry.

“We’re only considering the value-added products in this market that don’t compete strictly on price, Like existing Local Producers turn out,” Nofal says. We are looking for North American or European Partners in this area who see opportunities offered in the region’s building boom”. 

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