Ahlstrom Corporation, a global high performance materials company, takes another step in executing its growth strategy in Asia by starting production of specialty reinforcements for the wind energy market in China.
The production of glass fiber reinforcements, which is used among other things to strengthen wind mill blades, will be started by the fourth quarter 2011 at Ahlstrom's Binzhou plant in the Shandong province on China's eastern coast. Ahlstrom will install multiaxial machines to its existing Binzhou site, which currently manufactures transportation filtration materials and employs 170 people.
"China has become a global power house in wind energy and through this investment we can better serve our global and local customers in the country. This gives us a good platform for further growth in the fast growing wind energy markets in China and elsewhere Asia," says Laura Raitio, Executive Vice President, Building and Energy.
The wind energy market is estimated to grow at an annual rate of approximately 15 percent in China in the next five years. In 2010, Ahlstrom's total net sales grew by almost 50 percent in the Asia Pacific-region and the company made an acquisition of a filtration plant and announced a joint venture in China for the production of masking tape substrates and medical papers. In addition, the company announced an investment to wallcover materials manufacturing in China on June 14, 2011.
Ahlstrom's Building and Energy Business Area currently serves the European, North American and Asian wind energy markets from its plants in Mikkeli, Finland and Bishopville, South Carolina, USA.
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Ahlstrom in brief
Ahlstrom is a high performance materials company, partnering with leading businesses around the world to help them stay ahead. Our products are used in a large variety of everyday applications, such as filters, wallcovers, wipes, flooring, labels and food packaging. We have a leading market position in the businesses in which we operate. Our 5,700 employees serve customers in 26 countries on six continents. In 2010, Ahlstrom's net sales amounted to EUR 1.9 billion. The company's share is quoted on the NASDAQ OMX Helsinki. More information available at www.ahlstrom.com.