Leading Chinese plastic pipe manufacturer Chinaust Plastics Corp. Ltd. is planning a major expansion to meet rapidly growing demand.
The Zhuozhou, China-based company has ordered two new pipe extrusion lines from Battenfeld Extrusionstechnik GmbH. The lines are designed to turn out polyethylene pipe with diameters of 1.5 to 9.8 inches.
Chinaust, a joint venture between Schaffhausen, Switzerland-based Georg Fischer AG and China's Ling Yun Machinery Factory Ltd., claims to be the country's largest natural gas pipe extruder and a leading supplier of water pressure pipe. Chinaust, which can extrude plastic pipe with diameters as large as 31 inches, operates eight production plants.
"We are definitely aiming for further growth, and we also want to become the market leaders in China in the area of water-transport pressure pipes," said Chinaust Chief Executive Officer Bangying Ren. "We believe that China continues to hold enormous potential. While gas and water transport networks are now available in the big cities, they are still lacking in many parts of China."
The great challenge of the next few years will be to provide "cost-effective, reliable protection for water and to distribute it to a large, steadily growing population," added Ren, who returned to China four years ago after working in Switzerland for 20 years.
The Chinese market is expected to create huge demand for large-diameter pipe in particular in the next few years. Demand for plastic pipes in general will rise by as much as 10 percent annually up to 2009, according to a recent market research study carried out by Freedonia Group Inc. of Cleveland.
Demand also will be high for drainage and gas transport pipe, according to the survey.
Fischer bought a 50 percent stake in Chinaust in 2000 when it bought Australia's biggest gas pipe and fittings producer, Sydney-based Industrial Pipe Systems Co. Pty. Ltd.