2011 Nonwovens Sales: $120 million
Plants: Guangzhou, Weifang, Shandong, China
Processes: Spunbond, meltblown, SMS
Major Markets: Hygiene, medical, industrial
By year’s end China’s The Jofo Group will start up its new 3.2-meter wide, multi-beam Reicofil-4 spunmelt line and a separate finishing line in its Weifang plant in Shandong, China. Representing a reported $60 million investment, the new line will join an existing 4.2 meter Reicofil-4 multibeam line at the Weifang plant, which will be able to make more than 30,000 tons of material after the second line is complete. Jofo will target the rapidly growing disposable hygiene and medical application areas in Asia with the new capacity.
Jofo’s current nonwovens capacity is more than 55,000 tons, and the company has production facilities in Guangdong, Shandong and some other areas in China. The second Weifang line and other ongoing projects will bring the company’s total capacity above 100,000 tons by the end of 2012.
Jofo plans to continue investing in adding new capacity as well as research and development in the nonwovens areas to forge core competence in supplying premium nonwovens to disposable hygiene, medical, geotextile, industrial and other application areas, according to executives.
The Jofo Group was established in 2000 with the goal of becoming one of the world’s largest nonwovens producers. The company currently owns 10 subsidiary companies in Guangdong, Shandong, Hubei, Sichuan and Hong Kong and has annual sales of about RMB 800 million ($120 million).
Based in China, Jofo sells its nonwovens all over the world. Processes include composite, meltblown, SMS and spunbond for hygiene, industrial and geotextile applications.
Through a joint venture agreement with Weifang Investment Corporation, established in 2007, Jofo spent a reported $50 million on a 4.2-meter Reicofil 4 SS line capable of making 16,000 tons of nonwovens per year.
According to the companies, Jofo Weifang ultimately plans to operate at least eight advanced spunmelt lines with a total production capacity of more than 150,000 tons, making it one of the largest nonwovens producers in Asia for the hygiene, medical and protective apparel markets. Additionally, the venture plans to set up a research and development center for hygiene and medical applications in Weifang with financial support from the Chinese government.
Since 2000, the company has operated Shandong Jofo Nonwoven Co., a maker of spunbond, meltblown and SMS composite nonwovens located in the New & High Technology Industrial Development Zone in Dongying, Shandong Province.
In 2001, the company introduced the STP third-generation, improved twin-engine production line from Italy and the matching Kusters hot rolling mill from Germany. Its annual production capacity for spunbond polypropylene silk nonwoven fabrics is 7,000 tons; in 2004 Shandong Jofo introduced a Reifenhouser meltblown nonwoven fabric production line with an annual output of 3,000 tons of PP or PET. Meanwhile, it introduced Küsters hot rolling mill compound facilities and adopted the unique one-and-a-half-step processing techniques to provide world-class SMS compound nonwoven fabrics to its clients.
In addition to the hygiene market, where Jofo offers lightweight, soft spunmelt nonwovens, other core markets include medical and industrial protective apparel, automotive, furniture and bedding materials, filtration media, agricultural and horticultural and geotextiles.