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Tredegar Industries Inc. plans to open a ``relatively small'' plastic film manufacturing facility this year in China, inside the plant of its major customer, Procter & Gamble Co.

The facility, inside an existing P&G plant in Guangzhou, will produce film for disposable personal products, the company announced March 27. A spokesman said he did not know the cost or size of the facility and would not disclose details about what will be produced in the plant.

``This is a relatively small start-up operation,'' said spokesman Edward Cunningham. ``It is important to us because it represents penetration of what is obviously a big market.''

Tredegar had $206.9 million in sales to Cincinnati-based P&G in 1996. Tredegar, a publicly held firm headquartered in Richmond, Va., placed 21st in Plastics News' 1996 ranking of North American film and sheet manufacturers, with related sales of $230.9 million.

The firm reported total 1996 sales of $490 million, Cunningham said.

Tredegar now serves the P&G plant from other facilities, but expects the Chinese operation to grow, he said.

Tredegar has three facilities outside the United States — in Kerakade, Netherlands; SÌo Paulo, Brazil; and San Juan, Argentina — and six plants and a technical center in the United States.