Bangkok – Continental AG has started the installation of machinery at its greenfield tire production plant in Rayong, Thailand, the German company has announced.
The tire-maker celebrated the event on 15 March, with a calender installation– one of the largest units of equipment at the site at almost 100 metres in length.
The civil work and machinery installation, said Conti, are on track with the 2019 scheduled start-up.
The calendering machine will be used to coat fabric and steel with rubber, creating continuous rubber sheets used in the tire production process.
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,” said head of Conti tire division, Nikolai Setzer.
“The pace at which infrastructure development is happening on the Eastern Seaboard is encouraging for us,” added Setzer at the installation ceremony.
The Rayong tire plant is Conti’s seventh greenfield project since 1998. The company currently has 19 tire production plants in 16 countries.
Continental is investing €250 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.
Conti intends to spend €3 million in training its employees from Rayong, according to Bernhard Trilken, senior vice president manufacturing PLT and tire logistics.
“They will be trained at various Continental tire factories in Europe and Asia to ensure an excellent knowledge exchange,” Trilken said.