The Netherlands-based Honicel Worldwide, manufacturer of industrialised paper honeycomb products, and Ethiraj Timber Pvt Ltd., have joined hands to set up a manufacturing unit in Chennai. The 60:40 joint venture will have a total investment of Rs. 60 crore, according to Henk Krabben, Chairman, Honicel Worldwide.
While Honicel will bring the technology, the local partner will manufacture and market the products. In the first phase, Honicel will produce 9,000 tonnes of honeycomb core per annum. While 60 per cent of the production would go to meet the needs of the packaging industry, the balance would cater to the requirements of the construction industry , according to Giridhara Raj, Director, Honicel India.
One palette, weighing about half a tonne, can be used to produce about 400 doors of standard sizes. Honicel pallets are environment-friendly replacements for plywoods, medium-density fibre boards, particle boards, solid woods and corrugated boards.
Currently, the products cost around one-third of the conventional construction and packaging materials.Mr. Krabben said Honicel Worldwide would be setting up its research centre and a local testing centre in India. It would also set up Honipack plants across several regions in India to supply honeycomb products for the packaging industry.