Norway’s Hydro Aluminium has announced plans to construct its first wholly owned automotive components plant in Suzhou, China to better serve customers in the country’s growing automotive market. Total investment costs are estimated to be NOK 150 million (18 million Euros).
At the new site, Hydro will produce precision drawn tubing, multi-port extrusions (MPEs) and extruded tubular profiles used in automotive heat transfer applications. The company will also deliver other components from the plant.
Hydro will break ground in the first quarter of 2004 and install the plant’s extrusion press by July. Production is scheduled to start in the third quarter of next year. The plant will create about 140 new jobs in Suzhou in first phase during 2004.
‘As the technology leader in this area, we will deliver products with the same high quality and performance as those our customers use in vehicles manufactured in Europe and the United States,’ said Jan Arne RÃ¸nningen, who heads Hydro’s Precision Tubing business unit.
‘Our Chinese customers have previously had to import some of these products, so they are very happy with our decision to manufacture them within the country.’
Although the plant will be Hydro’s first fully owned automotive components plant in China, the company already serves the domestic precision tubing market from its nearby joint venture, Hydro Aluminium Wuxi. Hydro also operates a wholly owned magnesium alloys plant in Xi’an, and owns a 31.8 percent share of Suzhou Huasu Plastics Co Ltd.