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Benecke-Kaliko Opens Second Plant in China

(PresseBox) (Hanover/Changzhou, ) .
- At almost 40 million euros the company’s largest ever investment
- 24,000 square meters of production space for up to 250 employees
- Environmentally compatible surface material for the Chinese automotive industry
- Plant will be built and operated on sustainability principles
- Environment-friendly production will protect air, water and people

Benecke-Kaliko, a leading international supplier of surface materials for automotive interiors, is strengthening its involvement in Asia. The foundation stone for the company's second plant in China will be laid before the end of fall 2014. With a volume of almost 40 million euros for the first phase of the expansion, this is the largest investment in the company's history. "This shows the major importance of the Chinese market, but also the good relations between Benecke-Kaliko and our partners in trade and industry," says Chairman of the Executive Board Dr. Dirk Leiss.

Production is scheduled to start in late 2015. Up to 250 employees are then to manufacture Acella® Eco surface material on 24,000 square meters of shop floor space. The material, which is environmentally compatible, low in emissions and non-allergenic, is destined for the Chinese automotive industry. We have already received the first orders.

"The new plant is Benecke-Kaliko's response to the continued very high demand for our products and solutions. Our second plant in China will make a substantial contribution to our continued success in penetrating global markets," says Dr. Leiss. There is strong growth in demand from automakers in China in particular for high-quality and, at the same time, environmentally compatible materials for automotive interiors. Automakers are thus meeting the wishes of car buyers, but also the Chinese government's aim of increasing the air quality in automotive interiors. If demand continues to grow, therefore, a second expansion phase at the Changzhou plant will be possible, enabling production capacity there to be doubled.

Benecke-Kaliko intends building and operating the new plant entirely on principles of sustainability. "Our targets are to achieve maximum energy efficiency in all operations and the greatest possible protection of air, water and people," declares Project Manager Gebhard Parigger. The plant will, for instance, have an environmental management system in accordance with the specifications of ISO 14001 and the EU eco-audit regulation. Process heat will be re-used in the plant. Closed cooling water circuits will reduce the demand for fresh water, and high-tech filters will ensure clean air. In addition, only water-based paints will be used in production.

Benecke-Kaliko has had its own production operation in China since 2006: Benecke-Changshun Auto Trim, a joint venture between Benecke-Kaliko and its Chinese partner Jiangsu Changshun International Trading, has a manufacturing plant in Zhangjiagang. The production capacity there was significantly expanded in an approx. 7 million euro investment as recently as October 2013, and the production of modern TEPEO® foils was launched.

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