WUXI, Jiangsu—Jiangsu General Science Technology Co. Ltd. (JGST) has revived plans to build a tire plant in Cambodia, three years after suspending a project there in favor of investing in Thailand.
The Wuxi-based tire maker—represented in North America by Statewide Tires Inc. of West Covina, Calif.—has budgeted $202 million for the project, which will be located in in the Sihanoukville Special Economic Zone (SSEZ), in southwest Cambodia.
The plant, which is expected to be operational by September 2022, will be rated at 6 million passenger tires a year, JGST disclosed June 3. A new company, General Rubber (Cambodia) Co. Ltd., is being set up to oversee the project.
The SSEZ is a jointly developed and constructed project involving private companies from both Cambodia and China, "committed to building a multinational investment platform for companies around the world." It is located just a few miles from the Sihanoukville International Airport east of Cambodia's capital of Sihanouk.
Once fully operational, the plant is expected to create nearly 800 jobs and generate more than $210 million in annual sales, JGST said.
The decision to build a plant in Cambodia follows moves by the government there to support the growth of the natural rubber industry in the country, the company noted.
The country, it went on to say, is setting up a rubber industry association to ensure stable production and exports.
The new factory is the latest in a series of intentional expansion moves by JGST, considered the world's No. 47 tire maker, with fiscal 2019 sales of $509 million. Domestically, it goes to market under the Chituma and Qianlima brands. In North America it uses the TBB brand name.
Last year, the company opened its first overseas tire plant, in Thailand, which is expected to produce 1 million truck and bus tires and 6 million passenger car tires by the fourth quarter of 2021.
Originally, JGST said in early 2018 that it planned to build the plant in Cambodia, but changed those plans to Thailand later in the year.
JGST is the second Chinese tire maker to disclose plans for a factory in Cambodia. Earlier this year Sailun Tire Group disclosed plans for a passenger/light truck tire plant, rated at 5 million units a year and valued at $181 million.
Additional reporting by Bruce Davis, Tire Business staff