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From Site Selection magazine, November 2009
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by JOHN W. McCURRY

Nottingham Suits Up

Speedo International will move into its new headquarters in 2010.
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lobal swimwear firm Speedo has elected to stay in Nottingham, England, where the company has had a presence for 50 years. Speedo will move into a new high-tech office building in the city's center near the end of 2010. The company says the new facility will help retain its current work force of 170 and attract new talent.

"We have a long history in Nottingham and have built a strong, talented work force in the region," David Robinson, president of Speedo International, tells Site Selection. "We also have strong links with the universities in the area which support our R&D efforts. Both the East Midlands Development Agency and Nottingham Council have also been very supporting in helping to meet our needs as a business."

Robinson says Speedo's European operation moved to Nottingham 50 years ago, attracted by the manufacturing skills available in the area. At that time, most of the company's European swimwear was manufactured in Nottingham. In 1992, global brand management was moved to Nottingham and manufacturing moved to continental Europe and Asia, Robinson says. Speedo is owned by the Pentland Group, based in the London suburb of Finchley. That area was also considered for Speedo's new headquarters.


Cooling India

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itachi Home & Life Solutions (India) Ltd (HHLI), a subsidiary of Hitachi Appliance Inc., Japan, inaugurated its new air-conditioner manufacturing plant at Kadi in the state of Gujarat near Ahmedabad. It is the largest air-conditioner factory in India and is adjacent to the company's current plant at Kadi, 40 km. (25 miles) from Ahmedabad. The new plants manufacture commercial air-conditioners, including large air-conditioner chiller plants, ductable air-conditioners and telecom air conditioners. Currently, Hitachi chillers are being imported from Hitachi's factories outside India.

The new 35,000-sq.-m. (376,950-sq.-ft.) plant was built in seven months. Hitachi claims to be the first Japanese company to set up any manufacturing unit in India and is now the only such company which is expanding its production facilities.

"The air conditioning industry in India is witnessing increased expectation by customers," said Shinichi Iizuka, HHLI's managing director. "Technology, designs, cooling capacity, energy efficiency and service levels are seeing new highs. Our global experience helps us marry best of international standards and local needs to have excellence in products and services. Industry is progressing from premium product image to a diversified market due to changes in lifestyle and rapid economic growth."


Evergreen Solar Teams Up in China

Evergreen Solar and Jiawei Solarchina break ground in Wuhan.
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n a move aimed at reducing manufacturing costs, Marlboro, Mass.-based Evergreen Solar and its partner Jiawei Solarchina Co. held groundbreaking ceremonies in late August for a new manufacturing plant in Wuhan, China.

The plant is part of an agreement between the two companies through which Evergreen will manufacture its String Ribbon wafers at the leased facility being built on Jiawei's campus. Jiawei will convert the wafers into Evergreen Solar-branded panels on a contract manufacturing basis. Construction is due to be completed by spring 2010.

Evergreen says the total cost of the facility will be between $40 million and $50 million. Initial capacity is expected to be approximately 100 MW, and the parties intend to expand production capacity to approximately 500 MW by 2012, the timing and extent of which will be determined in 2010.

Wind power equipment builders are also looking at Asian manufacturing platforms. Germany-based wind turbine company Fuhrlander says it plans to build a $25-million factory in central Vietnam. It would be the country's first wind turbine factory.


Biopharma Firms Expand in Europe

Pfizer has opened a new biopharma plant in Sweden.
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fizer has opened a new €150-million (US$220-million) facility for biopharma production in Strängnäs, Sweden. It is Sweden's largest site for the production of biotechnological pharmaceuticals and represents one of Sweden's largest industrial investments, according to Pfizer. The new facility will take over the production of Pfizer's human growth hormone for a global market and will also produce a therapy for the treatment of acromegaly, a metabolic disorder.

"Pfizer's decision to invest in this facility in Strängnäs is based upon the competence and experience accumulated there and confirms that Sweden will continue to play an important role in Pfizer's global production network," said Nat Ricciardi, president of Pfizer Global Manufacturing. 

Sandoz has completed an expansion to its Aeropharm production facility in Rudolstadt, Thuringia, Germany. The facility is Sandoz's center of excellence for development and manufacture of inhalation products. Sandoz, the world's second largest producer of generic pharmaceuticals, invested €47 million (US$69 million) in the expansion, which will create 65 jobs.

The respiratory system medications sector plays a key role in Sandoz's corporate strategy. In Germany alone, the asthma market has a sales volume of around €1 billion (US$1.5 billion), with generics accounting for just 15 percent of this total.


Cargotec Keeps Growing

Cargotec has expanded its components plant in Narva, Estonia.
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argotec, a Helsinki-based manufacturer of on-road equipment for load handling, container handling and heavy industrial material handling, has manufacturing facilities across the globe. The company's key customer groups include ship owners, port operators, distribution centers, fleet operations, logistics companies and the military. In addition to its new multi-assembly unit (MAU) in Stargard Szczecinski in Northern Poland (see the July issue of Site Selection), Cargotec Estonia AS, the company's Estonian subsidiary, completed a €19-million (US$28.3-million) modernization and expansion of its existing components plant and office building in Narva, Estonia, earlier in the year.

"Narva has a long history of metal work and our expanded factory will give its best to utilize and develop that tradition," said Ivo Volkov, chairman of the board of Cargotec Estonia AS.



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