CHICAGO — Chen Hsong Moldings Ltd., a Hong Kong company that makes thousands of injection molding machines annually, plans to begin building a 500,000-square-foot factory in China this year to build presses. Chen Chiang, chairman of Chen Hsong Holdings, said the company will spend at least $70 million on the plant in Shenzhen, China. Construction should begin in about six months, and the factory will take about two years to complete, he said Tuesday in an interview at the booth of Chen Hsong's North American representative, New Pacific Machinery Inc. (Booth N4235).
Chen Hsong is already a major force in plastics-related equipment in China. The company already has 10 facilities in China, employing about 1,000, Chiang said.
But the new plant will be the first to manufacture, in-house, all major components for the injection presses, such as tie bars and manifolds, screws and barrels, he said. Chen Hsong currently outsources those parts.
The company has purchased the land on what is called Chen Hsong Industrial Estate.
In other news, Chiang confirmed that German plastics equipment maker Battenfeld GmbH has acquired 5 percent of Chen Hsong Holdings, which is traded publicly in Hong Kong.
Chen Hsong sells most of its machines in its strongest markets, China, Hong Kong and Taiwan. The company has become a magnet for machinery companies looking to make manufacturing inroads into the vast Chinese market.
In 1995, Chen Hsong inked a joint venture to make blow molding machines in Shunde, China, with Fried.Krupp AG of Germany and Shunde Sunny Group Corp. of Shunde.
In 1996, the company formed a venture with Battenfeld to create Battenfeld Chen Extrusion Systems Ltd. in Shunde making extruders.
Chiang said more deals are possible. Speaking through an interpreter, he said he wants his company to become a ``bridge that brings technology into China.''
Hong Kong business leaders are awaiting June 30, when, at midnight, Hong Kong returns to China after 156 years of British rule. Chiang, who founded Chen Hsong in 1958, is upbeat.
``After June 30, we believe Hong Kong will be able to assist China [to] open up their market even more,'' he said. ``Hopefully, China and the world industry can become one.''
Chen Hsong is exhibiting at its third NPE show.