Greenply Industries, India’s largest plywood manufacturer, is planning to increase Gabon’s commercial veneers manufacturing capacity from 36,000-CBM to 96,000-CBM. The company has set aside Rs 25 crore for this purpose and has already spent Rs 9 crore in the first quarter of the financial year. The plant is expected to go on stream in the third quarter of the current financial year.
Only 10% of the total capacity (after expansion) will be used for inhouse purposes and the rest will be for third-party clients both in India and other parts of the world. Major clients for veneer are India (67% of revenue), Spain (14%), Vietnam (2%), Indonesia (13%) and other SE Asian countries.
However, commercial veneer market is getting overcrowded. Another leading plywood manufacturer, CenturyPly is also entering the face veneer market. According to industry experts, there are already 25 players in Gabon supplying face veneer. However, the local authority in Gabon has put one year ban on new units to avoid the sector getting overcrowded. Also Gabon veneer faces increasing competition in India from Indonesia, Myanmar, China and Local sourcing within India. Besides the competition more than 300 containers are being exported from Gabon to India every month.
Greenply was the first Indian company to enter Gabon (West Africa) in the first quarter of previous financial year for sourcing of commercial veneers. Presently, Greenply’s Gabon commercial veneer unit is operating at over 130% capacity utilisation.