New Steel Drum Plant to Serve Western India

Balmer Lawrie & Co. opened a new industrial packaging plant that manufactures steel drums last month in Vadodara, in the Indian state of Gujarat, to serve a growing market for 210-liter mild steel drums in the countrys western region. Customer segments for its drums include lubricants, transformer oil and additives.

The company announced the unveiling of the new plant on June 10. In a news release, the company said that the new plant is spread over an area of around 13,700 square meters and has modern machinery, technical capability and trained manpower to produce high quality drums for customers, including multinational companies. The plants capacity is around 900,000 to 1 million drums per year. Initially the plant is expected to produce around 50,000 drums per month and gradually it would scale up, the company noted.

The western region of India, especially Gujurat, is where the mild steel drum market is fastest growing in the country, the company said in its news release. The Gujurat market for 210-liter MS drums has been growing at a significant pace during the past few years at a compound annual rate of over 21 percent, the company noted, whereas the market for such drums across India overall has only seen 6 percent CAGR over that time. Balmer Lawrie has a high-throughput plant for drum manufacturing at Taloja, Navi Mumbai, and a plant at Silvassa to cater to western region customers.

However, considering the growth opportunity in the Gujarat market, the Vadodara plant was set up to meet the needs of the major drum-consuming locations, such as Dahej, Bharuch, Baroda, Ankleshwar, Palanpur and Kutch, the company noted.

Although the primary focus of the new plant is on 210-liter MS drums, the plant can produce taller 235-liter capacity drums as well. The plants product range will also consist of plain drums, internally lacquer-coated drums and composite drums. It will also eventually produce necked-in drums and galvanized drums.

According to the companys web site, its customer segments include lubricants - from local companies, state-owned public sector undertaking companies and multinational companies - transformer oils, additives, agrochemicals, food and fruit pulp, chemicals and exports.