Galileo Group has announced that it has delayed plans to bring two new spunbond lines onstream this quarter, a move that highlights an increasingly common practice in the nonwovens sector amid today’s backdrop of economic uncertainty. The first line is being built by Bahrain Nonwovens, based in Manama in the Kingdom of Bahrain, and is behind schedule. “The building is not yet completed and no equipment can go forward until the building is completed,” commented Ron Smorada of Galileo Spunbond Holding. “The tidal wave of global economics has slowed everything down, including projects in the Gulf region.”
Galileo’s second spunbond project is underway in Imperia, Italy at industry newcomer Aurora Nonwovens. “As the economy went south, Aurora also took a hard look and decided to go slow, so the line is not yet installed in Italy either,” Dr. Smorada said. Both lines are expected to be up and running some time in 2010. He added that the company is underway with continued discussions with several other interested companies and hopes to finalize a sale in the first quarter of 2009 with one non-U.S. customer who is already a player in the industry. “Capital equipment is in a very slow mode everywhere so we are encouraged by the ongoing interest in our money-saving Galileo technology,” he said.
The Bahrain-based line will produce spunbond polypropylene nonwovens targeting the industrial, agricultural and hygienic sectors using newly developed Galileo technology from Galileo Group’s Spunbond Engineering Division in Italy. This new capacity will target growing demand in the Gulf and Middle East regions and also supply growing demand for these structures in Europe and North America.
Meanwhile, Aurora Nonwovens’ high capacity 1.6-meter line is expected to produce 3000 tons per year of colored nonwovens for home furnishing, upholstery and other niche end uses. Although Aurora is new to nonwovens, the company has a history in traditional textiles.