Work Begins on Nexen PCR Plant
Construction work on Nexen’s newest passenger car and light commercial vehicle tyre factory in South Korea’s Gyeongnam Province has begun following its groundbreaking ceremony on June 24. The 500,000 square metre Changnyeong facility is being built with a 1.2 trillion won (£646 million) investment and Nexen anticipates its output will boost the company’s South Korea and China total to 60 million pieces per annum.
“Due to the strong export market, [the] tyre industry has become the profiting industry in Korea,” commented Nexen Tire vice president Lee Hyun-Bong. “In order to respond appropriately to the six per cent annually growing world market, we have decided to build a new plant.”
The groundbreaking ceremony was attended by Gyeongnam governor Kim Tae-Ho, Changnyeong mayor Kim Chung-Sik and Nexen chairman Kang Byung-Jung. “When the second plant investment is completed, the company leaps to the world top ten tyre maker,” said Mr. Kang during the ceremony. “Together with Hankook and Kumho Tire, Nexen Tire makes up Korea’s big three in the tyre manufacturing industry. The newly built plant is eco-friendly and will lead the green energy economy.”
Nexen describes the processes to be used within the plant as being designed for “eco-friendly automated process with cutting-edge technology”, and comments the facility will produce world-class high performance tyres. The plant is expected to employ more than 2,000 workers and begin regular production in March 2012 following trials at the end of next year. Planned annual capacity for the plant after the completion of all work in 2017 is 21 million tyres.
The company reports annual sales of 966.2 billion won (£520 million) last year, and expects sales to break the trillion mark in 2010. Upon announcing the start of construction work on the new plant, Nexen also commented it has “a plan to lead [the] world tyre market with [an] eco-friendly item” and stated it intends to focus its research upon tyres for hybrid and electric vehicles as well as to develop eco-friendly tyres. Mr. Lee also reported on Nexen’s intention to “develop new contracts with notable foreign car makers.”