A decade of successful collaboration between FKuR Kunststoff GmbH and India’s SKYi Innovations LLP, acting as distributors of the FKuR bioplastics range, has laid the foundation for a promising presence in the Indian market. Both companies finally established the SKYi FKuR Biopolymers Pvt Ltd joint venture at the end of 2019 to further strengthen their cooperation.
The local production of biodegradable, partially bio-based plastics has now begun. This is a further step in implementing the FKuR mission to leave the world a little better than we found it by using sustainable plastics solutions. The production site is located within a special industrial zone in Chakan in the Pune district of the state of Maharashtra. This zone accommodates over 2,000 large and small companies.
The joint venture produces a significant part of the Bio-Flex® product range for local demand as well as for distribution to neighbouring regions. This makes the JV the first dedicated manufacturer of compostable biopolymer compounds in India.
Patrick Zimmermann, member of the executive board of FKuR Group explains this strategic step: “After our participation at Plastindia 2012, it was clear to us that the Indian continent is a strategically important bridgehead and a hub for our products in Asia and Africa as well.”
In addition, Carmen Michels, also a member of the FKuR Group executive team and one of the four directors of the JV adds, “Given the global drive to reduce consumption and disposal of single-use plastics, reduce plastic waste and adopt sustainable solutions, the demand for compostable plastics is also growing in these regions, with a focus on packaging and catering applications, as well as agribusiness. In particular, compostable plastics can make a positive contribution to waste management in India, as setting up organic recycling is infinitely easier and less costly compared to other disposal options (such as mechanical recycling or thermal recovery).”
The plant built for this purpose will employ up to 40 people in the first expansion phase. A modern compounding line is run on three shifts. In the company’s own testing laboratory, which contains a small blown film line along with other equipment, the qualities of the incoming raw materials and the end products are monitored according to German standards.
Dr. Sachin Jain, Managing Director of SKYi Innovations LLP and, like Michels, Director of the JV, adds, “SKYi FKuR Biopolymers combines German technology with Indian agility and entrepreneurial spirit. Together, we will bring advanced ‘Made in India’ solutions to the market and offer our customers excellent service with high flexibility and short lead times.”
Bio-Flex® is a family of flexible bioplastics for a wide range of processing methods. They are fully biodegradable or compostable (according to EN 13432) and are based entirely or partly on natural raw materials. Main applications are flexible films, including agricultural, household and hygiene, as well as thermoformed and injection molded products.
SKYi FKuR Biopolymers sells locally manufactured Bio-Flex® products as well as other regionally demanded grades from the extensive FKuR portfolio in India and other countries in Southeast Asia, including Thailand, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Malaysia and Vietnam, as well as in Middle Eastern countries such as Dubai, Oman and Qatar.
The FKuR group is a medium-sized, privately held group of companies focusing on the development, production and marketing of high-quality special compounds and the distribution of plastics specialties.
The group currently includes FKuR Kunststoff GmbH, one of the leading suppliers of bioplastics compounds for flexible packaging solutions and engineering applications, and FKuR Polymers GmbH, specializing in the development and production of TPE and PP / PE compounds.
The product portfolio of the FKuR group comprises the FKuR Kunststoff GmbH product groups marketed as Bio-Flex®, Biograde®, Fibrolon®, Terralene®, Terraprene® as well as the FKuR Polymers brands Macoprene®, Macolen® PE and Macolen® PP.
The distribution business comprises the biobased PE I’m greenTM of Braskem and the biobased PET Eastlon of the Fenc group.
The SKYI is Pune/India-based group with business ranging from infrastructure & construction to sustainable polymes material. Group, emplyess more than 450 people and is worth over $400 million, Polymer materials business of SKYi is engaged in thermoplastic composites and functional polymers, and is also developing new sustainable solutions based on graphene and other new materials.
SKYi innovation LLP focuses on biopolymers and started the business as a distributor of FKuR to provide compostable and bio-based solutions for the Indian market.