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DMack to construct tire manufacturing factory

LONDON—Sport tire supplier DMack is planning to build a new tire plant in England in a bid to up its game in the World Rally Championships, according to a senior official of the firm.

Cost of the project was estimated at roughly $440 million, although feasibility studies are incomplete and a final figure has not been determined.

“We are going through a period of development and evolution and are planning to improve our brand to compete with the likes of Pirelli and Michelin,” a company spokesman said.

Carlisle, England-based DMack has been supplying competition rally tires since 2011, sourced mainly from China's Shandong Yongtai Chemical Group, in Dongying Province.

“The company currently manufactures a small amount of tires in the U.K., at Cooper Tire's factory in Melksham, Wiltshire. But we plan to increase our capacity for premium tires in the U.K., and that's why we are building the plant,” the spokesman said.

Carlisle, a town in northwest England close to the Scotland border, is potentially one of the locations for the plant. Another undisclosed location in southern England is also under consideration.

According to the spokesman, the new plant also will be manufacturing passenger car tires in addition to motor sport tires, and it is scheduled to take a couple of years to build.

Gori: China should lift European Union tire duties

ESSEN, Germany—The European Union should not impose duties on tires imported from China but instead should push China to lift import duties it imposes on tires from Europe, according to Francesco Gori, strategy adviser at Apollo Tyres Ltd. and a former Pirelli leader.

Imposing antidumping duties on Chinese imports by the U.S. has increased the flow of Chinese tires to other regions, speakers at the Future Conference in Essen said. In Europe, truck tire makers and retreaders have been hit particularly hard by a rise in cut-priced imports.

During a panel discussion session at the recently held conference, Gori was asked if the EU should follow the U.S. lead and impose antidumping duties to stem the flow of cheap tires from China.

“No, or I would only do it from the point of view of reciprocity,” he said, pointing out that China imposes a minimum duty of 10 percent on tires imported from Europe.

Excluding tires being sold at “dumping prices,” Gori said that “if China is competitive, they deserve to have their market share in Europe.

“But, I would discuss the fact that tires coming from Europe have to pay duty. We have no duties on tires imported from China. So why doesn't (China) cancel this 10 percent duty?”

Swiss firm to handle final phase of Iran rubber plant

TEHRAN—Iran has signed its first post-sanction EPC contract with Switz-erland-based Welding Engineers for the construction of a rubber plant in the southern port of Assalouyeh.

Welding is contracted to complete the final phase of the emulsion styrene butadiene rubber plant, which includes drying lines, packaging and preparation for export to local and international markets.

In October 2015, Sadaf Chemical broke ground on the ESBR plant, which will produce five grades of rubber—some of them specifically for tires. Iran expects to complete construction of the plant by the end of 2018.

The project is fully financed by Iranian stakeholders. The plant will produce five grades of dry and oily rubber, two of which will be used in the tire industry and three in plastics, a company official said.

The facility will produce 136,000 metric tons of ESBR annually.

Iran expects China to be a major export market for Sadaf's ESBR products, with a demand of 1.5 million tons a year.

The company plans to export around 50,000 tons of ESBR per year.

AIT purchases Ontario seals, gaskets distributor

BURLINGTON, Ontario—Applied Industrial Technologies Inc., a distributor of parts catering to the needs of maintenance repair operations and original equipment manufacturer customers, has acquired Burlington-based Seals Unlimited.

Terms of the sale were not disclosed.

Seals Unlimited is a sealing, fastener and hose products distributor with a portfolio that includes seals, O-rings, gaskets, lubricants and adhesives.

The company, which operates out of a single location in Burlington, provides engineering support and consulting services for a variety of industries, including power generation, water filtration, steel, aerospace and plastics.

“Seals Unlimited is an excellent addition to Applied, enhancing our bearings and power transmission platform in Eastern Canada,” said Neil A. Schrim-sher, AIT president and CEO. “Their extensive expertise in sealing products and market applications, along with more than 40 years of experience, aligns well with our focus on delivering value-added solutions and service.”

Seals Unlimited will operate under its existing name and as a subsidiary of Applied Canada.