RAYONG, Thailand—Continental A.G. has started the installation of machinery at its greenfield tire production plant in Rayong.
The German tire maker celebrated the event March 15, with the installtion of a calender —one of the largest units of equipment at the site—almost 325 feet in length. It will be used to coat fabric and steel with rubber, creating continuous rubber sheets used in the tire production process.
The civil work and machinery installations are on track with the 2019 scheduled start-up.
Continental said it is investing $307 million in the first phase of the facility, which is expected to produce 4 million tires per year by 2022. The tire maker plans to employ 900 during the first phase of operations, and will invest $3.7 million to cover the costs of training those employees.
The investment in the greenfield tire plant in Thailand is part of Conti's Vision 2025 growth strategy, which aims to develop manufacturing that best serves customers across the globe, Nikolai Setzer, head of Continental's tire division, said.
"The combination of innovative German engineering combined with local Thai production capabilities ensures the highest quality tire manufacturing that Thai and Asian consumers are looking for, thus fulfilling our philosophy of 'In The Market, For The Market,'" Setzer said.
The Rayong plant is designed with environmental efficiency in mind, according to Contintental, which noted that all of the plant's machinery is equipped with sustainable production processes.
The Rayong tire plant is Conti's seventh greenfield project since 1998, and will have the potential for expanded capacity of 25 million tires per year.
Continental operates 19 tire production plants in 16 countries.