CNC International is poised to expand significantly during the next 18 months. In February, the Thailand-based company said it would add a 24,000-ton nonwovens production line to its operation, a significant increase from its current capacity of 15,000 tons per year. The new line, which is set to be fully operational in late 2014 will be housed in a new facility located near CNC’s existing facility in the Rayong province of Thailand. According to vice president Karun Sitthiampornphan, the new line will enable CNC to make a variety of valued-added spunbond/ SMS nonwovens.
In addition, the new facility will be equipped with robot packaging, allowing no hand contact to nonwovens roll goods, enhancing high-end hygienic application with consistency and high quality nonwovens roll goods.
Owned by the CPPC Group, which falls under the umbrella of Charoen Pokphand Group (CP), the largest agriculture-based conglomerate in Thailand, CNC was founded in 1994 when CPPC decided to diversify into nonwovens. Nonwovens production, largely targeting hygiene, medical and industrial applications, began in 1996 and a second line was added in 2001.
Originally founded as a 50/50 joint venture company between Fiberweb and CPPC, CPPC purchased all of the shares of CNC in late 2006. At the time of this purchase, executives referred to the move as a clear example of CPPC’s intention of having CNC grow along with its key customers in the region.
“Further investment in enlarging CNC’s capacity and product variety will be made over the coming years in order to meet customers’ demands, which have been increasing dramatically,” says Marss Kuo, CPPC’s CEO and president. “Attaining full ownership of CNC gives CPPC a valuable asset and gives CNC a solid foundation upon which to profitably grow its business and to create long-term value for CNC’s customers and CPPC, and for their stakeholders.”
Sitthiampornphan says the original partnership with Fiberweb was beneficial to the growth of its business. “They helped us develop our technology and network,” he says.
As it waits for its new line to come online, CNC will continue to focus on main markets in China, Southeast Asia and Japan and expects to expand this scope into other areas of Asia within the next five years.
According to Kaewwiriyakijkul, Thailand has emerged as a center of logistics within the region, due largely to its ability to ship, via Dawai port, to many countries in Southeast Asia, the Middle East, North Africa and even Europe.
“In addition, Thailand has and will have a stable or even higher GDP due to both farming, tourism and automotive investment in the area,” Kaewwiriyakijkul says. “We are also much closer to the well-known sources of polypropylene resins, from which the majority of spunlaid materials are made from.”