The first Asian manufacturing plant for Uponor Oyj is producing plastic plumbing, heating and cooling pipes and tubing in Taicang, China, as the Finland-based company strengthens its foothold on the continent.
Demand from builders of new housing and commercial buildings prompted Uponor to begin operations at the end of 2016, the company said in a May 25 news release about the opening of its 14th global manufacturing site.
"The Chinese building market is amongst the largest in the world, and I am excited about the opportunities it brings to Uponor," President and CEO Jyri Luomakoski said in the release.
As Uponor prepares to celebrate its 100th anniversary in 2018, the start of production in Asia signifies a turning point for the business, Luomakoski added.
"The official opening of our first manufacturing entity in China is therefore a precious moment and marks the beginning of a new chapter in the life of Uponor," he said.
The 54,000-square-foot plant is producing plumbing and indoor climate systems, namely radiant heating and cooling systems, from cross-linked and other grades of polyethylene and polypropylene for markets in China and other Asian countries, according to Werner White, vice president of Uponor Building Solutions.
The company did not say how many workers the new plant employs but it did note that China is Uponor's 10th largest country in terms of employees. A facility in Shanghai is the base for sales activity in East China, including product management, engineering and design and national marketing.
Uponor employs about 3,900 in 30 countries, mostly in Europe and North America. The publicly traded company is based in Helsinki, and had 2016 sales of 1 billion euros ($1.1 billion). The company is the 14th largest North American pipe, profile and tubing manufacturer, according to Plastics News.