Part of a phased approach to manufacturing in India, the new plant will have the capacity of 15,000 tons per annum in the production of films for pharmaceutical and food packagings, and speciality thermoforming applications. The plant is expected to be operational by early 2008 and generate employment for more than 90 employees. With the pharmaceutical packaging business in India already standing around $60m, KP's move aims to create a greater presence in the country and follows the company's acquisition of Indian PVC films and sheet production from Supreme Industries for $6m earlier this year. KP managing director Alok Marwaha said the new facility would be followed by further expansion of capacities at Aurangabad for both the domestic and export market. "The capacity of 15,000 tons per annum will be further ramped up in the second phase which itself is a positive indicator. Thus we are hopeful of further expansion plans of our plant," Marwaha told in-pharmatechnologist.com. "India is a pivotal Asian market for the KP group and a key choice to set up a plant since we have been in India for many years. Also a new manufacturing plant will allow us to sell our products at competitive rates." Nearly 60 per cent of produce would be used in the domestic market and 40 per cent exported to other parts of Asia, including South-East Asia and the Middle-East, he said. With many of the major pharmaceutical companies being customers in Asia, KP set up its fully owned subsidiary in India in January last year and has recently been expanding into Thailand. Current pharmaceutical packaging business in Asia stands at $4-5bn. KP will also install the first centre of excellence for pharmaceutical films in India at this location for all of Asia, to pursue process development, technology transfer from other KP excellence centres, best practice implementation, and special services to the pharma industry. Founded in Germany in 1965, KP already has 21 facilities in 11 countries, including Europe, Asia and South and Northern America. The company, which closed in the previous financial year with revenues of $1.5bn, provides packaging solutions for pharma, medical devices, food, electronics and general-purpose thermoform packaging. Earlier this month, private-equity firm The Blackstone Group acquired KP for $1.8bn (€1.3bn).