Etex celebrates 30 years in Japan at the opening of its new Microtherm factory - 13/03/2014

Press releaseWith the official opening of its new Nippon Microtherm factory and headquarters in Tsu City (Japan), Etex is also celebrating a 30-year presence in Japan. The site will support business development in Japan, South East Asia and Australia. By 2016, the company will have invested approximately 1 billion yen or 10 million euro in the new facility, which is already operational. The investment is part of Etex’s growth strategy for the high-performance insulation (HPI) products of its Promat division.

After investing 12 million euro into its subsidiary Microtherm in Sint-Niklaas (Belgium) and 2.8 million euro in a new Microtherm factory in Maryville, Tennessee (US), Etex is now pursuing its growth strategy further in Japan. Marking a 30-year presence in the country, Etex celebrates the opening of a new facility and headquarters in Tsu City.

The hub driving Promat in Asia

“We’re not only celebrating our 30th anniversary in Japan, but also the completion of our strategic plan in Tsu City,” explains Paul Van Oyen, Head of Division Fire Protection and Insulation at Etex. “The goal is to turn the new facility into the Asian hub for Promat.”

The industrial area of Tsu City proved to be the perfect location for the new site. “At Tsu City, we not only have a skilled labour force, we will also benefit from the availability of raw materials, excellent supply chain prerequisites and a forward-looking administration which supported the investment with incentives and subsidies,” says Steven Heytens, Director of Etex’s HPI business unit.

Headquarters will move from Tokyo to Tsu City, while a small satellite office remains located in the Japanese capital. “This move allows us to streamline all transactional processes, maximise synergies and optimise customer service,” Steven Heytens adds.

Optimising infrastructure and machinery

The construction of the 6,626 m² factory started in July 2013. Running over three years, the 10 million euro investment also involves an upgrade of machinery and infrastructure. “By the end of the first quarter, a new state-of-the-art multi-needle machine will be fully operational,” says Steven Heytens. “In the course of this year, we will also install a 400 tonne granulator and take delivery of an automated board machine.”

All of these investments enable Etex to increase Promat’s capacity and integrate warehousing services at Tsu City. What’s more, increased standardisation will allow the group to respond more swiftly to local demand. The factory will have an estimated workforce of 35 employees.

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