GE Plastics and Reliance Industries Ltd. continue to have their eyes on China.
In Nansha, China, GE Plastics will complete a compounding expansion by year's end, tripling that site's capacity since it was launched in 2004, said Alan Leung, president of Shanghai-based GE Plastics Pacific. He declined to elaborate, but based on previous expansions, such a move would add eight extrusion lines. The site started with eight lines, and added eight in 2005.
In 2008, Pittsfield, Mass.-based GE Plastics will add compounding capability in Nantong, where it will share a site with GE Silicones. Both Nansha and Nantong will compound GE's line of engineering and specialty resins, including Lexan polycarbonate and Noryl polyphenylene oxide.
Leung said the Nantong site will be a ``world-scale'' facility in eastern China designed to serve the firm's expanding customer base. ``Everybody is moving into Shanghai and Suzhou,'' he added, ``We're already in Shanghai, which is really an industrial center, but we wanted to start to move further out.'' GE's major markets in China include business equipment, telecommunications and automotive.
Reliance, a Mumbai, India-based industrial conglomerate that dominates commodity resin production in India, also has quite a bit riding on China, which accounts for about 65 percent of Reliance's business in polypropylene exports.
``We'd like to expand our presence in other areas like Vietnam, Indonesia and Malaysia, but those markets are smaller,'' said ShivPrasad Naik, who represents Reliance's Shanghai office. ``China is still buying a lot of material for injection molding, slit tape, bags, garments and snack food.'' In recent years, the film market in South China has been particularly strong, he said.
Overall, Naik said, China consists of two different markets for firms that sell resin there.
``About 70-75 percent of the resin purchased in China is for domestic use. The other 25-30 percent is bought by exporters, who buy material, make finished goods and export them out of China,'' Naik said.