Santiago-headquartered Gelymar is the largest global producer of cold water carrageenans, supplying texturizing hydrocolloids made from carrageenan, alginates and vegetable fibers worldwide.
The US$15M investment went to expanding production capacity at its two plants in Puerto Montt and Tierra del Fuego, both in southern Chile. The two-year expansion works give the company a production capacity of around 10,000 metric tons.
Latin America accounts for around half of its sales but it is keen to increase its presence in the European and North American markets.
Andres Hohlberg, who has been CEO of the company for the past 26 years, said Gelymar has been registering double-digit growth for several years, prompting it to begin the expansion in 2017.
The company’s expansion is in line with its aim to strengthen its position in Europe and North America.
“In the past 18 months, we launched over a series of new products for vegan, dairy, confectionery, pharmaceutical, and personal care products that have been extremely successful,” Hohlberg said.
“Most of those products are developed out of local Chilean seaweed and we definitely needed more capacity to fulfill demand.”
Gelymar has three factories in Chile and Indonesia and two research and development (R&D) centers. It also has strategic partnerships for the distribution of its products around the world, including Algaia in Europe; AIDP in the US; Ingregel in Spain, the Middle East, and North-Africa; and Blue Way in China.