The latest step in Jushi Group Co. Ltd.'s international expansion is taking longer than expected.
One of the leading suppliers of fiberglass in the world, Jushi announced last year that a plant in the United States was in the works.
“The construction for the plant in South Carolina still hasn't started yet, as it was postponed a little bit due to some external reasons,” Jushi USA CEO William Woo wrote in an email to Plastics News. He added that the strategy has not changed for the U.S. plant and more news can be expected at the end of 2015 or beginning of 2016.
Woo judged Jushi's Egypt plant a success, despite its late start due to political instability in the region.
“The phase 1 plant of Jushi Egypt for fiberglass industries is at the moment running very well in terms of production efficiency, quality consistency, and servicing most of Jushi's customers in Europe, [the Middle East and North Africa], Turkey and India with its all quality products available in the production.” He added that the first 80,000 tons had completely sold out.
The plant is now in phase 2 preparations.
“Jushi is plugging the second furnace with another 80,000 tons per year into the same location so as to provide more volumes to its targeted markets. We anticipate the second line will be operational sometime in the mid of year 2016 as the construction work is right now running in full swing,” Woo said.
Woo said China's economic slowdown has not had a huge effect on the company. “Despite of the downturn in economy, the company is still performing very well in terms of business growth, market development as well as profitability,” he said.
The Tongxiang, China-based company posted an 18.5 percent increase of sales in the first three quarters of 2015 to 5.2 billion yuan ($816.5 million). Net profit soared 165.7 percent to 770 million yuan ($120.9 million).
The company is focused on global growth, he said, adding: “The group goal is to have more than 50 percent of the capacity servicing the global premium end of the market.”
Woo was appointed CEO of Jushi USA in May. He remains the parent company's global sales & marketing director.
“I am not the first one that the company has sent to its overseas operations,” he said, “but definitely the group wanted to send a message to the marketplace that Jushi is prepared to do more in the North American market, one of the world's major composites markets. It can be also considered as a part of the company's global strategic planning.”
Woo wants to strengthen Jushi's share of the U.S. market and maintain a sustainable sales increase. “Jushi has been very successful in Egypt by looking at the coordination work of the marketing and supply been done there for its targeted markets,” he said. “My priorities in this new role are to serve as a link between past and future, a bridge between China and Americas.”
Jushi's global expansion is set to continue. The group is currently doing feasibility studies about future plants in Asia and Eastern Europe.