Bubble Wrap maker Sealed Air Corp. of Saddle Brook, N.J., is expanding its investment in China by building a fourth manufacturing plant and tapping inland markets.
``The new facility will start in 2007, producing food packaging and polyolefin foam products,'' Li Xin, general manager for North Asia, said March 8 by phone.
The firm recently signed an investment agreement with the Shanghai Qingpu Industrial Zone for a 33-acre site, and construction will begin later this year.
``We expect to add several hundred jobs on this site.'' Li declined to disclose details about equipment and capacity, but he said the facility will have sufficient space for future expansion.
Sealed Air first set foot in China in 1996 and now operates three Chinese plants - in Shanghai, Gaoming and Dongguan - all on the east coast. But the firm already is adding sales and technical support to the vast inland markets, and ``there is a possibility in the future to open manufacturing sites there,'' Li said.
Yet Shanghai, one of the most expensive cities in China, is still the choice for now. Sealed Air said the primary consideration for the fourth plant is to be close to major customers. The company will dedicate the plant to the Chinese market, according to a news release. Li said Sealed Air products made in China are for both export and domestic sales.
In China, Sealed Air sells food, protective, shrink and medical packaging.
``Our food packaging supplies the meat processing industry; protective packaging serves all types of industries such as instrument, auto, machinery, fitness equipment; the shrink line is used to pack gifts, software and books; and the medical films are used in blood bags,'' Li said.