American resin maker Reichhold Inc. said it will build its first composites resin plant in China, part of what executives said is a sharper focus on Asia, including launching operations in India.
Reichhold announced Sept. 11 that it was building a new plant in Tianjin, China, scheduled for completion in 2009. The company said it will make vinyl esters, gel coats and structural adhesives, with capacity of about 26 million pounds a year in its first phase.
``The market for composites in China continues to expand rapidly, particularly the segments of wind energy, closed molding and pollution abatement,'' Chief Financial Officer Roger Willis said in the news release.
The company in January disclosed that it was building a composites resin plant in Pune, India, also its first in that country. It's slated to come on stream this month.
In a telephone interview, Reichhold's China Country Manager Liusong Yu declined to disclose investment figures in China, but said the firm has plans down the road for a ``much larger'' expansion of the Tianjin operation. ``We really see Asia, and especially China, as significant,'' Yu said. ``This is a strategy now for Reichhold globally.''
Some published reports put the firm's Tianjin investment at US$40 million with capacity of 110 million pounds a year, but Yu said that was based on incorrect information released by local officials in Tianjin.
He did say, however, that the company wants to increase its presence in China significantly. He said Reichhold is the largest composites supplier worldwide to the wind energy market but has not been as active in China. Yu said he joined the Beijing office earlier this year.
The China plant, in the Tianjin Economic Technological Development Area, will supply the company's full range of composite materials.
The company said it has contract manufacturing arrangements with other manufacturers to supply materials until the facility is completed.
Reichhold also said it had set up a business office and applications lab in Beijing.
Reichhold is based in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina, and is the world's largest maker of unsaturated polyester resins.