Ahlstrom inaugurated its new medical nonwovens production facility in Mundra, Gujarat state, northwest coast of India during a special ceremony this week. The plant produces medical nonwoven fabrics for the healthcare industry in India and Asia and will initially employ 70 people. The Mundra plant is Ahlstrom's first manufacturing facility in India and among its biggest in Asia.
The new plant belongs to Ahlstrom's Advanced Nonwovens business area. The investment including the plant facility, production line and required infrastructure amounts to approximately €42 million. Ahlstrom's president and CEO Jan Lång stressed the importance of the plant in Ahlstrom's growth strategy in Asia.
"Ahlstrom has a strong footprint in Europe and the Americas and is starting to establish a solid manufacturing platform in Asia. This plant, with its state-of-the-art technology, competent personnel and an optimal location in the Special Economic Zone and in the vicinity of one of Asia's biggest ports, will have a key role in our growth strategy in India and Asia. As India is among the world's fastest growing economies today and the healthcare industry is growing at an annual rate of over 20%, the market for disposable hygiene products is expected to grow significantly in the coming years," Mr. Lång said.
The plant produces a broad range of single-use protective fabrics specifically developed for the medical market. These materials are used in hospitals, for example in surgical drapes and gowns to protect patients and staff from infections. Being singe-use products, they are also more hygienic and more sustainable than washable garments, as laundering is a greater burden to the environment.
In addition to India, Ahlstrom has two other manufacturing sites in Asia: one in Wuxi, China, and one in Hyun Poong, South Korea, where the company manufactures filtration materials. In addition to the manufacturing plants, Ahlstrom has sales offices in nine major cities in Asia. Altogether, Asia currently brings in about 10% of the Group's net sales.