It’s a material that has graced the interiors of homes for decades and now plans are afoot to further grow Formica’s reach. Fletcher Building Limited, which acquired the Formica global business in 2007 for a cool US$700 million (NZ$887), has announced plans to build a new laminates plant in the city of Jiujiang in China.
Fletcher expects the facility to be one of the largest plants within the Formica group and said it will double the company's capacity in China and allow for additional market growth.
Formica president and chief executive Mark Adamson said the commercial construction boom and “massive” construction of government-subsidized housing projects had driven the demand for laminate.
"The Chinese market — already twice the size of the United States market — continues to grow by 15 percent a year,” he said.
Slated for completion in 2013, the Jiujiang plant will manufacture high pressure laminate to support the demand in China and other select Asian markets. The more than 500,000 square-foot facility will be constructed to allow for future growth and it will employ approximately 400 people.
Adamson attributes Formica Group's ability to capitalise on this growth opportunity, despite the world economic conditions, to the recent restructuring undergone to streamline business on a global level.
"We've readied the business from an operational standpoint. That, along with the brand's history, legacy and commitment to product innovation, primes us for this expansion," he said. "We're confident about the future of laminate - the future of the Formica Brand - in the world's largest market."
The Jiujiang plant will be Formica's second plant in China and its eleventh manufacturing facility worldwide.