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Czech Republic claims Nexen set to build plant

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Crain News Service report

PRAGUE, Czech Republic (June 19, 2014)  — The Czech government claims South Korea’s Nexen Tire Corp. has settled on a site in Czech Republic for its first tire plant outside of Asia.  

Czech Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka posted a statement on the government’s website on June 16, claiming Nexen will invest $1.1 billion for the plant, which will create up to 1,000 jobs.

Nexen, among the world’s 25 largest tire makers with annual sales exceeding $1.5 billion, has not confirmed the report publicly, but it was known the Seoul-based company had been evaluating sites in eastern Europe for a plant.

“The government has given the green light to a major new investment,” Mr. Sobotka said.

The prime minister’s statement did not provide details as to the scale of the factory or the extent of state assistance it is bringing to the project.

The region has attracted considerable automotive industry investment—the Czech and Slovak Republics host car plants from Skoda Auto and South Korea’s Kia Motor Corp. and Hyundai Motor Corp.—and most production is exported to the eurozone.

According to Agence France-Presse, the new facility will be built in Zatec, a town 50 miles west of Prague.

The investment makes South Korea the third largest foreign investor in the Czech Republic, after Germany and Japan.

The plant in Czech Republic would be Nexen’s second overseas operation after the one set up in Qingdao, China.

A version of this story appeared on the website of European Rubber Journal, a UK-based sister publication of Tire Business.

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