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xerXerium Technologies has announced plans to build a new plant near Shanghai, China, to make press felts – the highly complex and large-scale webs of needled nonwovens and multi-axial materials employed in the paper making process.

The plant will employ the industry’s most advanced press felt manufacturing technology capable of supplying the highest quality products for the most demanding papermaking machines in the region.

Production is expected to begin by the beginning of 2015.

Xerium reports that its sales in Asia are growing differentially higher than in other parts of the world and thitd party market estimates are for these consumption rates to continue for a long time.

There is strong customer preference for the company’s press felt products in Asia, especially in manufacturing tissue and at the moment the company supplies these  to the region from 21 of its global plants.

Xerium is also committed to reducing its overall cost structure by repositioning its manufacturing footprint in low cost countries, and it is already expanding its current operations in Brazil China and Mexico and this investment will be another step forward in that direction. The plant site is being designed to accommodate future expansion and its location will enable rapid service, short lead times and emergency coverage requirements for the rgion.

“This new low-cost, high-tech plant in China is another big step forward for Xerium,” said Harold Bevis, Xerium’s president and CEO. “It will produce the most advanced press felts in the world with quality processes modelled after our existing plant in Gloggnitz, Austria. It will allow Xerium, for the first time ever, to provide quick in-county press felt service to the largest pulp, paper and board market in the world and will immediately become our lowest cost plant.”

With 28 manufacturing facilities in 12 countries around the world, Xerium has approximately 3,200 employees.

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