Tredegar Corp. plans to open another film plant in China, taking advantage of the growing presence of its customers in the region.
The Richmond, Va.-based company will launch the new manufacturing plant in Guangzhou, China, by the end of 2004 and hire an additional 50 employees in that country, said spokesman Edward Cunningham. The facility will make polyethylene film for personal-care products, including sanitary napkins and diapers, he said.
The company currently makes film inside a nearby Guangzhou plant operated by customer Procter & Gamble Co. since 1997. Production lines at that relatively small film operation will be moved to the new plant, the size of which was not disclosed, Cunningham said.
The new facility will serve P&G and other customers doing business in the Pacific Rim, Cunningham said.
The company also has a film plant in Shanghai that opened two years ago and makes similar products. Together, the current Guangzhou and Shanghai facilities employ about125.
The expansion of personal-care business, especially back-sheet film for diapers, inside China was a major driver for the new facility, he said.
``We're very excited about the potential and current growth,'' Cunningham said. ``[Film] products are the reason for our growing presence there.''
Tredegar Film Products recorded sales of $377 million in 2002. Tredegar Corp., a global producer of plastic film and aluminum extrusions, had sales of $177.9 million for the first quarter of 2003 but lost $44.7 million for the period. The film operations outperformed aluminum extrusions, a result partly generated by growth in Asia and expanding sales for its apertured, elastic and breathable products for personal-care and specialty markets.
The film group expects to spend about $45 million in 2003 for expansion and product development. The company did not disclose the cost of the new China facility.