Tongxiang, China-based fiberglass manufacturer Jushi Group Co. has opened its factory in Egypt that had been delayed by political unrest.
Jushi originally had planned to start the factory in the third quarter of 2013. But after Egypt's military ousted President Mohamed Morsi in July, the company delayed the project.
Jushi invested $220 million in the Ain Soukhna, Egypt, plant, which has capacity to produce 80,000 metric tons of fiberglass annually. The furnace started on Nov. 27, and the company said it will take about a month for production to "take off." The company plans to boost capacity to 200,000 tonnes annually by 2017-18.
The company is focused on supplying the European automotive market, so the plant initially will concentrate on chopped strands for nylon, polybutylene terephthalate and polypropylene and long-fiber thermoplastic rovings.
Hamburg, Germany-based chemical distributor Helm AG will handle distribution in Germany, Austria and Switzerland and to large thermoplastic producers across Europe.
Jushi President and CEO Zhang Yuqiang said in a news release: "It is part of our corporate strategy to be a truly global supplier of fiberglass systems for our worldwide customers. We are proud to put our plant in Suez on stream as our first extension outside of China."
He said the company plans to expand in thermoset as well as in thermoplastic products, and has plans for more "worldwide growth."
Zhang had said a year ago that Jushi was working on plans for a plant in the United States. The Dec. 3 news release on the project in Egypt did not provide an update on the company's U.S. plans.