QINGDAO, China—With some of the most demanding infrastructure projects in the world taking place in China, the announcement that Trelleborg will produce its Gina Gasket sealing system at its Qingdao manufacturing facility is welcome news for those involved in the complex construction of immersed tunnels and other water management projects.
Trelleborg said earlier this month that the plant will now manufacture the Gina Gasket exclusively for the Chinese market, while Trelleborg's Ridderkerk facility in the Netherlands, which had produced the gasket for all global markets including China, will now design and manufacture the sealing system for markets outside of China.
"The market for immersed tunnels is growing rapidly across China," said Chris Sanders with Stein IAS, the PR agency for Trelleborg's marine and infrastructure operations. "With the addition of production capacity in China, we’re well placed to better serve our Chinese customers and provide superior turnaround times."
Gina Gaskets are components of immersed tunnel construction, preventing water from coming in due to external water pressure, geological sedimentation or structure displacement, according to Trelleborg.
Trelleborg's marine and infrastructure operation celebrated production of its first Gina Gasket Dec. 14 at the Qingdao location, which employs 200.
"The Qingdao facility has long supported ... innovative, cost-effective solutions that enhance safety, efficiency and sustainability," said Richard Hepworth, president of Trelleborg's marine and infrastructure operation. "We are delighted to launch the new Gina Gasket manufacturing line."
The expansion at Qingdao follows a cooperation agreement with China Communications Construction Co. and Guangzhou Salvage.
As such, Trelleborg will supply Gina Gaskets to major infrastructure projects, including the ShenZhong Link project in Guangdong Province—set to become the largest and widest immersed tunnel in the world upon completion, according to Trelleborg. In this project, the gaskets will be placed between the sectional elements of the tunnel.
"China is home to some of the largest and most demanding, and in some cases increasingly complex, infrastructure projects across the globe," Hepworth said. "As such, expanding production capacity in Qingdao ensures that we're well placed to meet customer needs across the region with feet on the ground, local support and superior turnaround times—often imperative for high-stakes projects."