RTP Co.'s Chinese compounding plant is slated to open in October.
Called RTP Co. (Suzhou) Ltd., the 172,000-square-foot plant will create 50-60 jobs during the fourth quarter. That total should rise to 100 in the future, said Dick Zhu, general manager of the subsidiary.
``The plant will start with some basic products and expand the product mix every three months,'' he said. ``We'll be producing RTP's full range of specialty thermoplastic compounds in one year.''
Zhu said about half of the plant's compounds will be sold in China, and half will be exported. Target customers include global electronics, automotive and consumer goods manufacturers.
``We are primarily looking at the high-end market segment,'' he added.
The new plant will be equipped with machines made in the United States and Germany.
Zhu said Suzhou offers high-quality local managers. He said tax incentives are similar across the country, but infrastructure quality varies widely.
``We've been promised not to have power-supply problems,'' said Zhu.
Privately held RTP gained its first foothold in Asia in 2002 when it opened a plant in Singapore. RTP expanded that facility in 2004 and again earlier this year, so that it now covers 231,500 square feet .
RTP has operated a sales office in Shanghai since 2002, and now has sales representatives in Guangzhou and Tianjin.
``Apparently there are many benefits of having the production site close to the sales office,'' said Lyndon Li in the Shanghai office.
The Winona, Minn.-based firm now employs more than 600 worldwide, including at four U.S. plants and one in Beaune, France. RTP produces custom compounds in more than 60 engineering resins for applications requiring color, conductive, flame retardant, high-temperature, shielding, structural and wear-resistant properties.
RTP first announced the Chinese plant in November.