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Altana Group significantly expands presence in China

News International-French

6 May 2014

Altana, the specialty chemicals group based in Wesel, Germany, is significantly expanding its presence in China.

In April, the Actega division opened a new laboratory building for coatings and sealants at its production site in Foshan. Elantascommissioned a new plant for wire enamels in Tongling. And BYK signed a contract for the purchase of a site for developing and manufacturing chemical additives in Shanghai. With these projects, the Altana Group is investing a total of over € 30 million in the further growth of its China business.

"With our investment initiative, we're aiming to increase our presence in Asia further with emphasis on China and take advantage of the enormous market potential here," declared Dr. Matthias L. Wolfgruber, CEO of Altana AG. "Consequently, the ability to act rapidly, efficiently and in concert with local managers and employees in these markets is critical for our success." In 2013, Altana achieved its highest growth rate in this region in China. The Asian region as a whole grew by seven percent, driven primarily by the increased demand from China. Currently, Altana operates eight subsidiaries, five production facilities and ten laboratories in the country. With 450 employees here, the company generated sales of around € 290 million, or 16 percent of its entire global business in 2013.

Demonstrating competence in the packaging industry
With the new research facility at its existing production site in Foshan, Guangdong Province, the Actega division is aiming to deliver even more intensive customer service and cut response times for inquiries relating to technical applications. "We want to demonstrate our competence in the packaging industry even more definitively in the growing Chinese market," declared Dr. Roland Peter, President of Actega Coatings & Sealants, at the opening. "To do so, we speak our customers' language and are now offering local, rapid development service."

Meeting the strong demand for wire enamels
At the Tongling site in Anhui Province, already the world's largest production facility for wire enamels, the Elantas division is expanding capacity by a further 40 percent, to over 60,000 tons per year. "The new plant in China is an optimum fit for Elantas's global strategy, and, along with the founding of a further Elantas subsidiary in Malaysia, a decisive step toward meeting the needs of our customers in the Asian region," explained Dr. Guido Forstbach, President of Elantas Electrical Insulation. "It also backstops the sister plants in Europe, North America and India."

Chemical additives: concentrated competence in a central location
With the signing of a contract to purchase a property of approx. 30,000 square meters in Shanghai, BYK is seeking to bundle its competencies in China. In addi-tion to a large production plant, the Fenxiang Shanghai Chemical Industry Park will also be the home of the new BYK China headquarters with administration, a ware-house for raw materials and finished goods and a laboratory complex. "With this integral concept, we're not only bundling our competence at the new Shanghai site, but we're also moving right to where our customers are and benefiting from the proximity to our suppliers and the ideal, attractive infrastructure," stated Dr. Christoph Schluenken, President of BYK Additives & Instruments. "But this region is also known for good schools and universities, which will help us in finding highly qualified employees." The opening is planned for 2016. BYK started its own manufacturing operations in China very early on in order to meet customer needs locally. The division also operates multiple laboratory facilities, e. g. in Tongling, Shanghai, Beijing and Guangzhou.