Kluber, Chem-Trend Get China Plant


Sister companies Kluber Lubrication Munchen KG and Chem-Trend are joining the flock of lubricant manufacturers building factories in China, with parent Freudenberg Chemical Specialities KG announcing plans to open a joint facility in 2007.

Freudenberg said it is building the plant to supply customers that are also beginning to manufacture in China, but added that it expects to land new customers once it is there.

Munich-based Freudenberg did not disclose the size or cost of the facility but said it will be built in an industrial park 40 kilometers west of Shanghai. Officials said it will be divided into two parts, one producing Klubers specialty lubricants, the other making release agents that Chem-Trend sells into metal forming, polyurethane, rubber and other industries.

Both companies already have sales teams in China, but officials said it is important for them to be producing there, too.

As one of the worlds fastest-expanding economies, China has a special role to play for our own growth plans, Freudenberg Chemical Specialities President and Chief Executive Officer Hanno D. Wentzler said. The demand for high-quality lubricants and release agents will be rising over-proportionately here during the years ahead, because the key industries important to our business are likewise achieving continuous growth.

By producing in China, Freudenberg said its subsidiaries will be better positioned to respond quickly to the needs of Chinese customers, as well as multinational customers that have built their own plants in China. In addition, it said, both Kluber and Chem-Trend should be able to find new customers in Chinas quickly growing economy.

Kluber has a history of building plants wherever it sells. The company operates 40 production facilities worldwide. Kluber is also based in Munich. Chem-Trend, which was acquired by Freudenberg in 2004, is headquartered in Howell, Mich.

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