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From Site Selection magazine, September 2011

Engineered Fabrics Firms
Stretch Global Footprints

Dr. Christian Heinrich Sandler, CEO of Sandler AG, and Dr. Hans-Peter Friedrich, Federal Minister of the Interior for Germany, stand in front of the new Sandler factory in Bavaria.

lobal demand for nonwoven products continues to be strong, and some of the world's biggest players have manufacturing projects in the works to meet predicted future demand. Following is a look at projects on three continents.

Sandler AG recently opened a new €40-million (US$57.6-million) plant in Schwarzenbach/Saale, Bavaria, Germany. Sandler supplies products for the hygiene, wipes, automotive, filtration, and engineering markets. The new facility employs 63.

"Two years ago — at the height of the financial crisis — the Sandler AG Management Board decided to invest in a new plant and a state-of-the-art spunlace production facility," said Dr. Christian Heinrich Sandler, CEO of the family-owned company, at the plant's dedication. "The new construction of 'plant 4' was a challenge for all company employees, who were highly motivated and enthusiastic in their commitment towards the project during all phases of civil engineering, plant assembly, and the start-up of the system."

The company ranks 15th in global turnover and is currently the only major family-run producer of nonwovens in Europe. The huge new facility has two 10,500-sq.-m. (113,085-sq.-ft.) floors. Or, as the company puts it, "the equivalent of four soccer fields."

Companhia Providência, a Brazil-based nonwovens manufacturer, has built its second plant in in the municipality of Pouso Alegre, in the state of Minas Gerais. The $60-million plant, which employs 92, will serve the growing Brazilian market.

"We have chosen Pouso Alegre due to its advantageous location for taking delivery of raw materials and to rapidly service our customers," said Hermínio de Freitas, the company's CEO. "In addition to the experience already gained in operating in the region, we can also count on the benefit of quality local labor."

Pegas Nonwovens, a global nonwovens manufacturer based in Luxembourg, plans a new factory in Egypt. While an exact site has not been selected, Pegas said it would likely be in the Cairo region. Pegas has established a new company, Pegas Nonwovens Egypt LLC, for the new plant, which will receive an investment of between €55 million and €60 million (US$79 million and US$86 million).

"The establishment of the company is the result of successful negotiations with a major customer, who expressed interest in a supply arrangement for our products to its production plants in the Middle East," said František Rezác, member of the board of directors of Pegas Nonwovens. "Currently we consider that the most likely location for the plant will be in the industrial zone in the City of 6th October, not far from Cairo, and we are now in the process of securing a suitable land parcel. Additionally, the construction of the Egyptian plant also opens up many new opportunities in the very promising markets of North Africa, the Middle East and Asia."

Nokia Siemens Networks Opens R&D Hub


okia Siemens Networks has opened an R&D hub in Quezon City, Philippines, that will employ more than 1,000 within a year. The center is located in a four-story building in the Ayala Technohub. The company says the facility, known as NetworkLabs, will be the largest of its kind in Southeast Asia. NSN selected the Philippines for its strong supply of engineering students. The company is developing partnerships with top engineering schools in the region.

EMAL OKs $4.5-Billion Expansion

EMAL is moving forward with phase two of its massive aluminum smelter.

bu Dhabi-based Emirates Aluminum (EMAL) is moving ahead with a $4.5-billion second-phase investment in its massive smelter, following the achievement of full production of the first phase. The second phase will bring capacity to 1.3 million metric tons, making EMAL one of the largest single-site producers of primary aluminum in the world.

"In just three years, EMAL has become a global competitor in the aluminum industry," said Saaed Fadhel Al Mazrooei, president and CEO of EMAL.

Romania Lands EADS Plant

Premium AEROTEC, a subsidiary of EADS, has opened a factory in Romania.
Photo courtesy of Premium AEROTEC

remium AEROTEC, a Germany-based subsidiary of EADS, has officially opened its new plant to produce aircraft components in Ghimbav, in Romania's Brasov County. The new plant will specialize in the production and assembly of metal components for all Airbus series programs (A320 family, A330, A380). Production started in December 2010 on completion of the first construction phase.

"We are pleased to support Romania in further developing its aeronautical sector by locating Premium AEROTEC and other EADS subsidiaries such as Eurocopter here in Brasov," said EADS CEO Louis Gallois. "EADS is thus further increasing its industrial footprint in Romania, which is already significant through projects such as the border security project. The capabilities of our local employees here are impressive. This new Premium AEROTEC facility will become an important part of the EADS Group's supply chain and help to further increase the competitiveness of the European aeronautical industry."

The manufacturing complex now comprises 60,000 sq. m. (646,200 sq. ft.) and will employ more than 500 when it is fully operational at the end of 2012.

Premium AEROTEC GmbH has more than 7,000 employees and generated revenues of about €1.3 billion (US$1.8 billion) in 2010. Its core business is the development and manufacturing of metal and carbon composite aerostructures and the associated equipment and production systems. The company also has German production plants in Augsburg, Bremen, Nordenham and Varel.

Concrete Wind Towers Gain Hold in Brazil


obben Windpower, the Brazilian subsidiary of Germany's Enercon, is now building concrete wind towers for major utility companies at its new plant in Parazinho, Rio Grande do Norte state. The new facility has a capacity of 200 towers per year. The company says there has been a shift to concrete due to a shortage of steel in the region. The facility will produce towers of concrete for several wind power projects that will be built for CPFL and Petrobras.

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