BANGKOK, Thailand — Continental A.G. has started installing machinery at its greenfield tire plant in Rayong, Thailand, putting the project on track for its 2019 scheduled start-up.
The first piece of equipment installed was a calender, used to coat fabric and steel with rubber, creating continuous rubber sheets used in the tire production process, Conti said. The calender was sourced from IHI Corp., a Japanese heavy-industry machinery supplier.
Continental is investing $265 million in the first phase of the facility, which will be producing 4 million tires per year by 2022. The site has potential to expand capacity to 25 million tires per year. The plant will employ 900 people in the first phase.
The investment in the greenfield tire plant in Thailand is part of Conti's Vision 2025 growth strategy, which aims to develop manufacturing to "best serve customers worldwide," Conti's tire division head, Nikolai Setzer, said.
"The pace at which infrastructure development is happening on the Eastern Seaboard is encouraging for us," Mr. Setzer said at a March 15 installation ceremony held at the factory.
The Rayong tire plant is Conti's seventh greenfield project since 1998. The company has 19 tire production plants in 16 countries.
Conti also has begun training employees, according to Bernhard Trilken, senior vice president manufacturing PLT and tire logistics, who said the company intends to spend $3.7 million in training,
"They will be trained at various Continental tire factories in Europe and Asia to ensure an excellent knowledge exchange," he said.
Issues around the development of global tire market will be discussed and debated at Future Tire Conference 2018, taking place 30-31 May, during the Tire Cologne international trade fair in Cologne, Germany.