TAICANG, CHINA -- European plastics processor Promens hf said April 16 that it's opening its first production facility in China, a 3 million euro ($3.96 million) rotational molding plant near Shanghai that will focus on the food and material-handling industries.
The facility will open by the end of 2013 in Taicang, but the Kópavogur, Iceland-based company said it expects that in future phases of its investment in Taicang it will use other plastics production technologies it employs in Europe. The broad-based firm, which has 42 factories and 3,800 employees globally, uses an array of plastics technologies in those factories, including thermoforming, injection molding and blow molding.
"Thanks to successful partnerships with our most ambitious clients, we are experiencing significant interest from a number of global companies to employ our services in Asia as well," said Bjarki Gardarsson, managing director of Promens Asia, in a statement.
"We are excited to be facing tremendous opportunities in a range of industries such as automotive, medical, personal care, chemical packaging as well as food packaging and processing."
The company timed the announcement with the signing of a free-trade agreement between Iceland and China, the first between a European nation and China.
It staged a signing ceremony in Beijing on April 15 to coincide with the trade agreement and said Chinese Premier Li Keqiang and Icelandic Prime Minister Jóhanna Sigurdardóttir were present to mark the signing of the company's investment agreement with the Taicang city government.
A company spokeswoman said the Taicang facility is likely to employ 20-25 when it opens.
The 3,000 square meter facility will start with one rotational molding machine. The company plans to add several more in the next three to five years. The building is expected to expand to 6,000 to 10,000 square meters.
Spokeswoman Helga Björk Jónsdóttir said Promens will be the sole owner of the Taicang facility. The company also has a factory in Ahmedabad, India, and sales offices in Hong Kong and the Philippines.
In its statement, the company said it wants to tap domestic and international customers in China and provide the same level of service in Asia that it provides in Europe.
The plant also will "reduce the carbon footprint of the company through improved logistics," said Jakob Sigurdsson, Promens CEO.
The company has factories in Europe, Russia, Africa, India and North America.