MOLNDAL, Sweden (March 27) — Hexagon Polymers A.B. is building a rubber compounding plant in China to serve producers of automotive parts for the Chinese vehicle industry.
Hexagon, which operates two plants in North America under the Thona name, did not disclose the value of the project, which will result in annual capacity of 12,000 metric tons of rubber compound in the first phase. A second phase expansion would double capacity down the line, Hexagon said.
The plant will be in Jiaonan, Qingdao Province, close to Beijing and Shanghai, Hexagon said. Construction is due to start this year and the production start-up is planned for the first quarter of 2007. It is a joint project between Hexagon and Hexagon Metrology Qingdao Co. Ltd.
"Our potential customers in China have the same quality expectations as the customers in Europe and North America," said Lars Olofsson, president and CEO, Hexagon Polymers. "This corresponds totally with our world-wide strategy for standardization regarding equipment, processes, recipes and performance. Currently all western European OEMs are supplied with products made from our compounds."
The company has appointed Liju Yan as managing director of the new Chinese unit. He formerly was business manager, Asia Pacific, for an international operating company.
The main market for the rubber compounds produced by Hexagon Polymers is the automotive industry in different rubber goods applications, such as sealing systems, engine mounts, oil seals, hoses and belts.