2004-02-04



4 Februar 2004  Bekaert celebrates its first steel cord plant in India

Today, Bekaert has officially inaugurated its first steel cord plant Bekaert Industries Pvt Ltd (BIPL) in Pune, India, in the presence of Mr. Patrick De Beyter, Belgian Ambassador in India.

In March 1999, Bekaert began construction of BIPL in the region of Pune, one of the fastest growing cities in India.  The plant became operational in August 2002 and at the moment has an annual production capacity of 5.000 ton of steel cord.

India is an important growth market for Bekaert.  It is characterised by international and local players who are taking advantage of growing car sales and the systematic changeover from diagonal to radial tyres, reinforced with Bekaert steel cord, for trucks as well as for passenger cars.  The initial capacity of 5.000 tons can quickly be pushed up to 30,000 tons in function of market growth.  Right now, directly or indirectly, the plant provides work for more than 160 people.

Bekaert is the worldwide leader in steel cord and operates at present sixteen steelcord production plants, four of these in Asia.

As a result of the growing demand for steel cord in Asia, Bekaert decided on an ambitious investment programme, which would allow it to supply local markets with top quality products from local production facilities.  The two existing plants in China will be expanded and a third Chinese plant is under construction and will be operational in early 2005.  In 1998 we already set up a plant in Indonesia.  Actually, the Pune plant in India operates at full capacity.

At the occasion of the opening ceremony Mr. Vandecasteele Marc, Group Executive Vice President Advanced Wire Products emphasized Bekaert is capable to realise its long-term objective to constantly maintain the technological and market leadership in the Asian region.
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