Continental Holds China Tyre Plant Groundbreaking
Continental today (10 October 2008) broke ground for its new tyre production plant in Hefei, Anhui Province, China. Located in Hefei’s New and High Technology Industrial Development Zone, the first phase of Conti’s new plant will cover around 70,000 square metres of construction area. The China factory project is the first factory investment of Continental’s Passenger and Light Truck Division has made in China. According to a company statement it is the largest Foreign Direct Investment project in Anhui Province so far.
“Continental has 137 years of experience with rubber and especially with tyres. Nowadays we produce about 120 million tyres a year worldwide. We will invest around 185 million euros in the Hefei plant, which is scheduled to be completed by 2010. We are aiming for an annual production of four million PLT tyres here in Hefei in the first step. In the long run our capacity should exceed 10 million tyres a year by far”, Wente said. “This will be a next step forward to achieve our goal of strengthening our Asian business”, he explained.
A company statement on the launch said the new plant will be equipped “with state-of-the-art tyre production machines and apply leading environmental-friendly processes and technique to produce major premium medium- and high-end passenger car tyres to satisfy the Chinese domestic and overseas demand for premium passenger car tyres.”
In addition the plant will adopt a biological filtration system to purify the smells arising from tyre manufacturing processes in the two major workshops, i.e. sulfuration workshop and mixing mill workshop to ensure the qualified emission of pollutants. This new plant represents the first time that Continental has put biotech filtration devices into the tyre engineering process, and it’s also new for the Chinese tyre industry. According to the company, the project has been examined and approved by Hefei City Environmental Protection Bureau, Anhui Province Environmental Protection Bureau and China State Environmental Protection Administration.
A Lower Saxony State Government delegation visited the Hefei opening as part of a tip to Anhui Province together with Christian Wulff, Prime Minister of Lower Saxony, Germany. Other guests include Heinz-Gerhard Wente, Member of the Executive Board of Continental AG and senior officials from Anhui Province and Hefei City governments.