New Delhi, Dec 6:  Home-grown flexible packaging major U-Flex has drawn up a Rs.1,500 crore investment plan for a new unit at Sanand in Gujarat to produce seven billion packs per annum for liquid energy drinks, milk and juices, the company’s chairman Ashok Chaturvedi has said. (Also Read: Every 5th food sample found adulterated and misbranded: Report) Also Read - 'State Heading Towards Health Emergency', Gujarat HC Initiates Suo Motu PIL Over Corona Situation

“The plant will come at our 72-acre Sanand site. It will eventually generate direct employment for around 3,000 people and revenues worth Rs.4,500 crore. In the first phase, we are expecting revenue of Rs.1,200 crore from the plant. It will be commercially operational by April 2017,” Chaturvedi told IANS in an interview. Also Read - 'Tika Lagao, Beer Le Jao': This Gurgaon Restaurant is Offering Free Beer to People Who Show Their Vaccine Card

“About 90 percent of the output from this factory will cater to domestic demand. The first phase of the project will produce up to seven billion packs, involving an initial outlay of Rs.580 crores,” the chairman added. “It will also serve our expanding capacities in India, particularly for cement packaging, tubes and holographic-film manufacturing in the future phases.” Also Read - 'Vaccine Lagwao, Sona Le Jao': Women Get Gold Nose Pins For Taking COVID-19 Vaccine in This Gujarat City!

Chaturvedi said India’s flexible packaging market was growing at around 14 percent per annum and slated to touch $32 billion in revenues by 2020. “With the change in demographics, lifestyle too is undergoing a paradigmatic shift. The advent of organized retail has given an unprecedented fillip to the packaging industry.”

According to him, while traditional retail in India is carried out through the local “Kirana” shops with nearly 75-80 percent of items still sold in loose form, under the unorganized domain, flexible packaging market was also witnessing a demand growth from end-use industries such as personal care, healthcare, pharmaceuticals, and food and beverages.

Speaking about why Gujarat was chosen for the expansion, Chaturvedi said the state had several advantages-coastline of 1,600 km with 42 ports connecting it to major sea-based trade routes and trade centers, adequate power supply and a good industrial infrastructure.

“Sourcing of raw materials is also not a problem both from India and overseas. While we cater to a Pan-Indian market, Gujarat being one of the highly urbanised states today shows a remarkably high consumption pattern which has undeniably made it a favorite spot for setting shop by a wide range of industries.”

The 32-year-old Noida-based multinational, with production plants in India, Dubai, Egypt, Mexico, Poland and the US-and markets in 85 countries worldwide-makes polyester chips, plastic films, laminates, inks and adhesives for packaging liquid and solid goods. It has plants at locations including Noida, Jammu and Malanpur in Bhind district of Madhya Pradesh.

Among its Indian and global customers across 140 countries are P&G, PepsiCo, Tata Global, Mondelez, L’ Oreal, Britannia, Haldiram, Amul, Kimberly Clark, Ferro Rocher, Perfetti, GSK, Nestle, Agrotech Foods, Coca Cola, Wrigley and Johnson & Johnson.