Nexen to begin building China plant
QINGDAO, China-Nexen Tire Corp. broke ground May 12 for a tire plant in Qingdao that should start production late in 2007 or early in 2008.
Nexen, the world's 36th largest tire maker in 2004 with sales of $299 million, has budgeted $80 million for the plant, which, at full production, will have annual capacity of 5.25 million tires, Nexen officials said.
To facilitate the project, Nexen set up a wholly owned subsidiary in China in January. The company did not disclose the physical size of the plant or expected employment.
Nexen Chairman B.J. Kang, CEO J.M. Hong and Executive Vice President Travis Kang were on hand for the ground breaking, the company said.
When the plant is at full capacity, it will provide Nexen the capability to make 20 million units a year, officials said, when combined with the output of its Yangsan, South Korea, factory.
Pirelli begins production in Brazil
GRAVATAI, Brazil-Pirelli & C. S.p.A. has inaugurated production of radial truck and bus tires at its newest plant, in Gravatai, which will supply primarily Brazil and other South American markets.
Pirelli invested $50 million to add the truck tire capacity to its existing motorcycle tire plant in Gravatai, in the Rio Grande do Sul region.
The new production unit, rated at 12,000 metric tons of tires a year, covers 6 million square feet and requires about 500 employees. The existing 30-year-old plant employs 1,500 and turns out 64,000 tons of products a year.
This is Pirelli's sixth truck tire plant; the others are in Settimo Torinese, Italy; Izmit, Turkey; Alexandria, Egypt; Yanzhou, China; and Santo Andre, Brazil.
Commercial vehicle tires account for 31 percent of Pirelli's tire division sales.
Yokohama making Advan aero tires
TOKYO-Yokohama Rubber Co. Ltd. is extending the use of its Advan high-performance tire line name to the skies, launching an Advan-branded radial aircraft tire designed for Boeing Co.'s 777 range of passenger jets.
The Advan AC Y-255 was developed in response to the need for tires with enhanced durability and reduced weight, Yokohama said, as the aircraft themselves become even more advanced and sophisticated.
Tires for aircraft such as the Boeing 777-300 are subjected to severe operating conditions, having to support 300 tons at speeds of 210 mph and more through repeated takeoffs and landings, Yokohama said.
Tokyo-based Yokohama began delivering the new tire, in size 50x20.0R22 (26PR and 32PR), in March to Japanese carriers using Boeing's 777 series planes.