Chinaplas 2024: Packaging and Automotive Sectors Spur Demand

According to the organizers of this year’s trade fair Chinaplas 2024, Indonesia is on its way to a lucrative market for plastics. Their market report can be read here:

The industrial sector of Indonesia has been contributing to its overall economic growth, regardless of the upward momentum of its production in terms of volume and value in the past few years. Government incentives to investors, favorable business environment, significant improvement in technologies and skilled manpower are among the factors that encourage the expansion of industrial sector. In particular, the plastics industry in Indonesia is exhibiting sustained growth in the next few years owing to rising demand spurred by increasing consumer expenditure.

With a population of 277 million, Indonesia has become an attractive consumer market, and due to the fast-paced changing lifestyles of buyers with higher disposable income, manufacturers are focused on meeting the requirements by building their production capabilities. Indonesia’s plastics market size was valued at 8.63 billion US-Dollar in 2022 and is likely to reach 14.58 billion US-Dollar by 2031, expanding at a CAGR (compound annual growth rate) of six percent during the forecast period 2023–2031, according to the projection by Growth Market Reports. Several important industries are crucial to Indonesia’s plastics industry – packaging, automotive and medical are experiencing rapid development.

Packaging sector takes major leaps towards circular economy
Indonesia’s packaging industry remains the major application of plastics. A report of Global Data states that the country’s packaging market size, valued at 151.3 billion units in 2022, is poised to register a CAGR of more than three percent during the period 2022-2027 with flexible packaging segment dominating the market share until 2027.

From a linear model, Indonesia’s packaging industry is fast moving towards a circular economy. That has been made more pronounced by the investments of leading companies into areas that will reduce, recycle and re-use plastics. As an economy battling huge plastic waste stockpile reaching 18.99 million tons per year based on Environment and Forestry Ministry data, Indonesia has placed circular economy as its main focus by implementing ‘Golden Indonesia Vision 2045’, which is the long-term national development plan. Thus, the utilization of recycled materials has become the goal of many Indonesian companies that plan to go through the route of circular economy. This has brought huge opportunities to companies supplying advanced recycling solutions and sustainable materials. This has also opened new horizons to both Indonesian and foreign companies operating in Indonesia and a number of significant ventures into plastics manufacturing have been launched in the country’s various industrial centers.

Coca-Cola in Indonesia has launched its new packaging made of 100 percent recycled PET (rPET), excluding caps and labels, in line with the vision of ‘World Without Waste’. Coca-Cola operates a recycling plant, Amandina Bumi Nusantara, located in Cikarang. The facility, with a capacity of 25,000 tons of PET per year, is a partnership between Coca-Cola Europacific Partners Indonesia and Dynapack Asia. The production of bottles with 100 percent rPET content aims to accelerate the goal of reducing the use of conventional plastics and lowering carbon emissions.

Another development is the signing of the partnership agreement between Indonesian plastic recycler, Pan Era Group, and Milliken & Company, which represents another milestone in the industry. The partnership combines Pan Era Group’s expertise in the collection and production of recycled PP plastic resin with Milliken’s additive technology solutions. Pan Era Group and Milliken will collaborate to promote a circular economy in Indonesia by utilizing Pan Era Group’s extensive local collection network to collect plastic waste and coupled with Milliken’s material science technology to produce recycled polypropylene resin. Further, this collaboration aims to improve the performance of transparent recycled PP resin and increase its market presence.

Investments in materials for the packaging industry continue to pour into Indonesia, stressing its major role in the ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) region’s broad consumer market. BASF invested in the capacity expansion of polymer dispersions at its production site in Merak, Indonesia. The expansion is in line with the growing trend of high-quality packaging in ASEAN. It aims to bring additional supply to fulfill the growing demand for acrylics and styrene-butadiene dispersions in the Southeast Asia, Australia, and New Zealand markets. With proximity to the supply of key raw materials and the flexibility of producing both acrylic and styrene-butadiene dispersions, Merak is a crucial supply point to ensure stable production of paper coatings.

CJ BIO, a division of South Korea-based CJ CheilJedang, is now manufacturing polyhydroxyalkanoate (PHA) at its facility located in Pasuruan, Indonesia. CJ BIO uses its facility to enter the biomaterials sector with the goal of creating opportunities to reduce the impact of manufactured plastics on the environment. The plant has a rated capacity of 5,000 metric tons and focuses exclusively on manufacturing ‘amorphous’ PHAs (a-PHAs). Amorphous PHA is a softer, more rubbery (low glass transition temperature [Tg]) version of PHA that offers fundamentally different performance opportunities from crystalline or semi-crystalline forms of PHA. This material will impose immediate use as a modifier to other polymers and biopolymers to improve functional characteristics and biodegradability, enabling ‘cradle-to-grave’ solutions for the broad range of markets that generate plastic waste.

E-mobility trend spurs automotive production
Indonesia has gained the importance as an automotive center in the region with a growing number of companies engaged in this sector that are setting up their operations in the country. The country’s automotive companies are increasingly focused on launching electric vehicles, along with meeting trends such as lightweighting and enhanced safety and autonomy, bringing the dramatic demand for automotive plastics. Engineering plastics for the automotive industry are predominantly imported, but an increasing number of local manufacturers are improving their portfolio through partnerships with foreign companies. It has been estimated that Indonesia’s automotive industry players will need around 200,000 tons of plastics yearly with less than half supplied by domestic companies.

The bright prospects for plastics in Indonesia’s automotive will be sustained by major foreign and domestic players. Leading automotive manufacturers with production facilities in Indonesia include Hyundai, Isuzu, Toyota, Daihatsu, Honda, Chery Motor, Wuling Motors and others. Local car manufacturers include Esemka, Fin Komodo, Tawon, Marlip, etcetera. Investments in Indonesia’s automotive industry have been on the rise, attracted by the large consumer base and excellent infrastructure.

EVs (electric vehicles) will dominate innovations as seen by focus of manufacturers. PT Neta Auto Indonesia (NAI), which introduced the Chinese-made Neta V electric car, announced its plan to build an assembly plant in Indonesia with local company PT Handal Indonesia Motor. The intention is to have Neta V model locally assembled in Indonesia in the form of completely knocked down (CKD). Another car manufacturer, Wuling Motors Indonesia launched the Wuling Bingo EV, its second electric vehicle EV model after the Air EV. The Bingo model is offered in two variants in Indonesia. Wuling Indonesia earlier unveiled its first EV, the Air EV as part of its bid to be a leading new energy automobile company worldwide. The first global launch of this model was held in Indonesia. Aside from Wuling, there are other Chinese EV manufacturers expressing their interest to produce their models in Indonesia seeing the government’s favorable policy on EVs. The Indonesian government has set a target of producing 600,000 electric vehicles by 2030. Hyundai Mobis has also constructed an EV battery system plant in Indonesia. The company, part of the Hyundai Motor Group, is investing around 60 million US-Dollar. Battery cells are secured from the local joint venture, HLI Green Power, and the finished battery system as a module will be supplied to the Hyundai Motor plant.

At Chinaplas 2024, Indonesian plastics manufacturers will witness a full range of new materials and high-tech processes to enable them to further enhance their production efficiency and profitability in the wake of fast-changing consumer preferences, the organizers of the trade fair concluded. The exhibition would highlight “the most advanced packaging technologies and environmentally friendly materials to support the move towards a circular economy”. A broad range of machinery, equipment and engineering plastics were also on exhibit to promote the development of the automotive industry.

(Published in GLOBAL RECYCLING Magazine 1/2024, Page 30, Photo: 12019 /