Nan Liu Enterprise


Kaoshing, Taiwan
www.nanliugroup.com
2011 Nonwovens Sales: $118 million

Key Personnel: C.S. Huang, chairman; H.S Huang, president; M.Yang, vice-president; Sam Chang vice-president; Paul Cheng, general manager; Bernard Kerstens, commercial director (overseas business)

Plants: Kaoshing, Taiwan; Pinghu, China

Processes: Spunlace, thermal bond, air-through bond, needlepunch

Major Markets: Hygiene, medical, wipes

Since 1978, Nan Liu Enterprise, Kaoshing, Taiwan, has been serving a number of hygiene markets. As it debuts on Nonwovens Industry’s top company report at number 38, Nan Liu recently announced plans to become a publicly traded company by early next year.

Nan Liu’s core businesses are hygiene and medical nonwovens and cosmetics. To continue its growth in these segments, Nan Liu has recently begun construction on a 6.2-meter wide spunlace line that it says will be the widest in the world. “This jumbo line will meet the rapidly increasing demand for wet wipes in China and other areas of Asia but also strengthens the company’s position on the worldwide market,” says Bernard Kerstens, commercial director (overseas business). The company expects production from this line to begin the third quarter of 2013. It will be located in Pinghu, China—near Shanghai—where the company already operates a 4.5-meter wide spunlace line.

Kerstens says this investment responds to strong growth in East Asia, particularly China, where wet wipes have seen an annual growth rate of approximately 20% in the last five years. “We expect that the rapid growth rate in China would continue for the next five years in view of the continued increase in personal income,” he says. “Moreover, increasingly people realize the convenience of using wet wipes. This is also true for many other spunlace applications.”

The new line will bring Nan Liu’s spunlace capacity to 28,000 tons. Present chairman C.S. Huang established Nan Liu at Kaohsiung in southern Taiwan in 1978. The company originally sold standard household goods but soon began making coverstock materials for diapers and sanitary napkins. After adding its first two nonwoven lines, the company’s operation accelerated. In 1985 the company passed the requirements of the Japanese Food Sanitation law, opening a door for exports to Japan, Southeast Asia and gradually the rest of the world.

Other nonwoven lines followed (thermal bond and needlepunch); in 2000 Nan Liu bought its first spunlace line, as well as wet wipe converting equipment. A second location housing nonwovens production was opened near Kaoshiung and a large cleanroom workshop was installed for the development and manufacture of cosmetic facial masks, cream and liquids. Combining its spunlace know-how with biotechnology, Nan Liu began making cosmetic facial masks and cosmetic remover wipes. The company registered the brand name SilkSoft used for its cosmetic and nonwoven fabrics.

“In the domestic Taiwan and mainland China markets, Na Liu now holds an important position in baby wipes and cosmetic facial masks products. Both in these markets and internationally it has become a major converter of finished wet wipes as well as one of the largest Asian producers of spunlace roll stock.

In 2005, Nan Liu embarked on its first foreign investment in Pinghu, China. With a total investment of nearly $40 million including new thermal bond/air-through bonding and spunlace lines as well as wet wipe converting equipment and a 4,500 square meter biotechnology workshop.

“The existing spunlace line at Pinghu is the widest one in Asia with 4.5 meter width,” says Kerstens. “Built primarily to produce low-linting woodpulp/polyester spunlace, it is geared to the needs of producers of surgical gowns and drapes as well as producers of low-lint industrial wipes.”

Nan Liu claims to be the first Asian producer to offer spunlace fabric that allows producers of surgical garments to meet European and U.S. standards simultaneously (EN 13795, AAMI-2), adhering to manufacturing practices and cleanliness needed in the hygiene, medical and cosmetic fields.

Looking forward, Nan Liu hopes to expand its reach into India and Russia as a publicly traded company in Taiwan. The company announced last month it expects to go public next year, a move that will help it improve its global profile.

“By becoming a publicly traded company in Taiwan, we will feel that we have a higher duty, more responsibility and more pressure to perform better,” Kerstens says. “It should make it even more attractive for excellent people to join us. Secondly, financially, we feel we could attract more investors, get more support and get access to cheaper investment means from the financial world—higher profits and new major investments being the main objectives.”
Kaoshiung City, Taiwan
www.nanliugroup.com
2012 Nonwovens Sales: $128 million
 
Key Personnel: C.S. Huang, chairman; H.S Huang, president; M.Yang, vice-president; Sam Chang vice president; Paul Cheng, general manager; Bernard Kerstens, commercial director, overseas business
 
Plants: Kaoshing, Taiwan; Pinghu, China
 
Processes: Spunlace, thermal bond, air-through bond, needlepunch
 
Major Markets: Hygiene, medical, wipes
 
Nan Liu Enterprise has been serving a number of hygiene markets since 1978. Its core businesses are hygiene and medical nonwovens and cosmetics. The company’s growth from $118 million in revenue a year ago to $128 million turnover in 2012 can be attributed to an increase in sales volume of spunlace wood pulp/PET fabrics for surgical gowns from in last year’s fourth quarter.
 
According to Bernard Kerstens, commercial director, overseas business, Nan Lui was not entirely satisfied with these results because he says the company faced a limitation of capacity, which forced it to cancel some orders.
 
In addition, the company faced other challenges in 2012 and into 2013. “The drop in selling prices for spunlace fabrics and at the same time an increase in costs, labor and raw materials has created a challenging operating environment,” says Kerstens.
 
Amid these challenges, Nan Liu Enterprise made the decision to join the Taiwan Stock Exchange. “Nan Liu Enterprise has gone public as of May 7, 2013,” says Kerstens. “We would like to use this opportunity to run the business more efficiently and also to attract more professional people to join our operation. Through this procedure, we made some long-term company development strategies to meet the public’s expectations.”
 
To continue growth in its core hygiene and medical segments Nan Liu began construction last year on a 6.2-meter- wide spunlace line that it says will be the widest in the world and is in the final test stage now. “We expect it will be in commission around the end of August or the first half of September this year,” says Kerstens. “This line will produce first-class spunlace fabrics for wipes and other applications. It has many unique functions, which will help us to meet clients’ special needs.”
 
Discussing the wet wipes business, which in China has experienced growth in the 20% per year range, Kerstens says because family income continues to increase in China and an easing of the country’s one-child policy is very likely in the near future, the baby wipes business in China will continue to enjoy a double digits growth for next five years.
 
In terms of competition in the Asian spunlace market, he characterizes the market as “tough, and very tough” because there are so many locally made machines and a huge range of quality levels, which will confuse clients and also easily upset end users that buy poor quality products.
 
Another evolution the Asian wipes market is the growth of branded products. “People trust brand name products and as a result we saw the business growth of branded products,” says Kerstens. “This trend will narrow down private labels’ existing opportunity. Special function wipes, for example, flushable wipes, baby wipes for mouth and hands only and cosmetic removal wipes, will grow faster than traditional wipes.”
 
With its thermal bonded and thru-air lines, Nan Liu sees sales continuing to grow as they primarily serve the baby diaper market. “The market for baby diapers in China has enjoyed a rapid growth during past several years,” says Kerstens. “Customers are looking for high-end products today, which benefits our fabric’s needs.”
 
Aside from wipes, the medical market is next in line in terms of importance for Nan Liu, spending much of its efforts and costs to develop wood pulp/PET spunlace fabrics for surgical gowns and drapes over the last five years.
 
“We are the only producer who makes this fabric and along with the final finishing treatment at the same facility compound allowing us to control the quality from the beginning to the end,” says Kerstens. “Our capacity for medical fabrics will double after our new line is in commission.”
 
Moving forward, Nan Liu will continue to expand its bases as its clients continue to move around the globe, according to Kerstens. “Nan Liu Enterprise was founded in Taiwan 35 years ago and we have made a strong alliance with our clients since then,” he says.
 
“The reason we came to China was to supply fabrics to our clients and we will continue to do so to follow our clients steps who are also operating in Southeast Asian countries, India, Middle East and Russia. Nan Liu will also set up supply bases there soon.”
Kaoshiung City, Taiwan
www.nanliugroup.com
2013 Nonwovens Sales: $152 million

Key Personnel
C.S. Huang, chairman; H.S Huang, president; M. Yang, vice-president; Sam Chang, vice president; Paul Cheng, general manager; Bernard Kerstens, commercial director, overseas business  

Plants
Kaoshing, Taiwan; Pinghu, China  

Processes
Spunlace, thermal bond, air-through bond, needlepunch  

Major Markets
Hygiene, medical, wipes

Sales continued to climb for Nan Liu Enterprises in 2013 due to recent investments in spunlace technology. The company makes wood pulp/polyester fabrics for surgical gowns, wipes and other applications. A highlight of the year was the completion of a 6.2-meter-wide spunlace line in the third quarter. Capable of making spunlace fabrics for wipes and other application and has many unique functions to help it meet clients’ special needs.  

The line will help Nan Liu grow in the Chinese wet wipes industry, which has experienced growth in the 20% per year range. As family income continues to increase in China and an easing of the country’s one-child policy is very likely in the near future, the baby wipes business in China will continue to enjoy double-digit growth for next five years.  

However, in terms of competition in the Asian spunlace market, the market is described by executives as tough because there are so many locally made machines and a wide range of quality levels, which will confuse clients and also easily upset end users that buy poor quality products.

Nan Liu has been serving a number of hygiene markets since 1978 and its core business have been hygiene and medical nonwovens and cosmetics. Since 2011, when the company first joined the top company report, sales have grown from $118 million to $152 million due to an increase in sales volume of spunlace wood pulp/PET fabrics for surgical gowns and other areas. 

In May 2013, the company joined the Taiwan Stock Exchange.

“Nan Liu Enterprise has gone public as of May 7, 2013,” says Bernard Kerstens, commercial director, overseas business. “We would like to use this opportunity to run the business more efficiently and also to attract more professional people to join our operation.

Beyond spunlace the company also makes thermal bonded and thru-air nonwovens and sales of these technologies are primarily growing in the baby diaper market.

Aside from diapers and wipes, the medical market is next in line in terms of importance for Nan Liu, spending much of its efforts and costs to develop wood pulp/PET spunlace fabrics for surgical gowns and drapes over the last five years.  

Moving forward, Nan Liu will continue to expand its bases as its clients continue to move around the globe targeting Southeast Asian countries, India, Middle East and Russia in addition to China.
Nan Liu Enterprises
Kaoshiung City, Taiwan
2014 Nonwovens Sales: $174 million
www.nanliugroup.com

Key Personnel

C.S. Huang, chairman; H.S. Huang, president; M. Yang, vice president; Sam Chang, vice president; Paul Cheng, general manager; Bernard Kerstens, commercial director, overseas business  

Plants
Kaoshiung, Taiwan; Pinghu, China   Processes: Spunlace, thermal bond, air-through bond, needlepunch  

Major Markets
Hygiene, medical, wipes

Sales at Nan Liu Enterprises reached $174 million thanks to continued growth in all sectors but especially in the markets for high quality and soft wipes. The company makes wood pulp/polyester spunlaced fabrics for surgical gowns, wipes and other applications and expects growth to continue, particularly in China.

In late 2013, Nan Liu completed work on a 6.2-meter-wide spunlace line, capable of making materials for wipes and other applications. According to Kerstens, the line, which offers a number of unique functions to help meet clients’ special needs, has helped Nan Liu grow in the Chinese wet wipes industry, where it continues to see high annual growth.

Currently, about 50% of the company’s sales are done in China, but the company continues to expand overseas, particularly in hygiene and medical markets.

“It has been again another strong year of growth for the wipes industry,” says Bernard Kerstens, commercial director. “Due to continuous growth on family income and the ease of  the  “one-child” policy in China, we are very confident on the strong growth in this segment for the next few years.”

Amidst this growth, Kerstens says the Asian spunlace market continues to be a tough one because there are so many locally made machines and a wide range of quality levels, which confuses clients and easily upsets end users who buy poor quality products.

In May 2013, Nan Liu joined the Taiwan Stock Exchange as a publicly traded company. This change in ownership came nearly 40 years after its establishment as a supplier of materials for hygiene and markets. Executives hope the move will help it expands its business.

 “We would like to use this opportunity to run the business more efficiently and also to attract more professional people to join our operation,” Kerstens says.
 Beyond spunlace the company also makes thermal bonded and through-air nonwovens and sales of these technologies are primarily growing in the baby diaper and feminine napkin markets. Aside from diapers and wipes, the medical market is next in line in terms of importance for Nan Liu. The company reports it has allotted much of its time and resource developing wood pulp/PET spunlace fabrics for surgical gowns and drapes during the last five years.  

Moving forward, Nan Liu will continue to expand its bases as its clients continue to move around the globe targeting Southeast Asian countries, India, Middle East and Russia in addition to China.

Nan Liu has done a lot of development work and experimentation regarding sustainable nonwovens for many years. A decision has been taken to go into that direction and the company will expects to invest in this segment in the near term.
Kaoshiung City, Taiwan
www.nanliugroup.com
2015 Nonwovens Sales: $192 million


Key Personnel
C.S. Huang, chairman; H.S. Huang, president; M. Yang, vice president; Sam Chang, vice president; Paul Cheng, general manager; Bernard Kerstens, commercial director, overseas business 

Plants
Kaoshiung, Taiwan; Pinghu, China  

Processes
Spunlace, thermal bond, air through bond, needlepunch 

Major Markets
Hygiene, medical, wipes


Reporting comprehensive sales growth in 2015 was Nan Liu Enterprises. The Taiwanese maker of spunlace fabrics for the wipes and medical markets saw sales increase from $173 million to $192 million thanks to expansion into the Japanese surgical gowns/drapes market as well as new air-through bonding technology.

“We are able to provide more to our customers with an increased range of services,” says commercial director Bernard Kerstens. “Besides, as a result of the deregulation of the one-child policy in China, we have experienced increasing sales in baby products.”

A veteran maker of spunlace nonwovens, Nan Liu currently operates the widest spunlace line in the world. This 6.2-meter-wide line is able to offer a number of unique functions to help meet clients’ needs. It began operation in late 2013.

“This line can help us to minimize the cost through improving speeds,” Kerstens says. “What’s more, we have been committed to combining the wood pulp paper to produce qualified surgical gowns and drape fabrics to meet the market needs.”

As one of a main suppliers of nonwovens in China, Nan Liu reports about half of its sales are conducted in the country where growth in the medical market is attributed to the booming medical gowns converting industry. “The Chinese market has always been an important part of our overall sales. For example, the sales of medical surgical gowns/drapes fabrics have kept increasing. Our main customers for these surgical gowns/drapes are converters and they are mostly located in China. However, the overseas markets are always the markets where we strive to expand, including Southeast Asia and South and Central America,” Kerstens says.

While these markets are currently served through local sales agents, Nan Liu is taking steps to establish a manufacturing operation in at least one new market—India. While Kerstens couldn’t reveal firm details, he did say negotiations are currently underway to build a nonwovens operation there.

Back in Taiwan, Nan Liu has recently purchased a new land parcel in Kaohsiung where a new factory, which will expand its spunlace business, is currently under construction. At its existing site in Pinghu, Nan Liu has completed work on yet another new production line to make air through bonded nonwovens for the baby diaper market. 

“We will continue to develop in this area to provide high quality, competitive products to our customers in the future. And we will do our best to provide better services to our customers for baby diapers and female sanitary napkins. At present, we mainly supply Chinese domestic market.”
Kaoshiung City, Taiwan
2016 Nonwovens Sales:  $213 million


Key Personnel
C.S Huang, chairman; H.S. Huang, president; M. Yang, vice president; Sam Chang, vice president; Paul Cheng, general manager; Bernard Kerstens, commercial director, overseas business

Plants
Kaoshiung, Taiwan, Pinghu, China

Processes
Spunlace, thermal bond, air through bond, needlepunch

Major Markets
Hygiene, medical, wipes

Sales continued to climb following the adoption of China’s two-child policy  for Nan Liu Enterprises. The Kaoshiung City, Taiwan-based nonwovens producer reported a sales increase of 8% to $213 million in 2016. While these results may seem impressive, the company is not fully satisfied. “There is still much more space for further growth. To have nonwoven production grow further investments in large-scale equipment are needed,” says commercial director Bernard Kerstens.

Recent investment from Nan Liu includes a new plant in Yancho, near to Kaohsiung, which covers an area of 100,000 square meters of which 80,000 will be space for construction. The area will be ready for construction in the first half of 2018. Nan Liu has not yet disclosed the type of technology in which they will be investing here. An announcement will follow in due time.

Kerstens says the new operation, which will inject a new sense of vitality into the company, will ultimately be expanded  and will eventually add about $100 million in annual sales to the company’s turnover.

Within the spunlace market, in general, aggressive expansion has led to some imbalance between supply and demand, but growth in medical materials as well as other new applications for spunlace is righting this situation. As the need for spunlace continues to grow, Nan Liu will continue to expand its production capacity.

“Medical products are one of the key segments for Nan Liu,” Kerstens says. “We expect to be able to grow further with these medical products based on their high level of confirmation by the market of Nan Liu’s quality. At the same time we are also dedicated to developing other medical materials for high-tech areas.”

Nan Liu already operates the widest spunlace line in the world. This 6.2-meter-wide-line is able to offer a number of unique functions to help meet clients’ needs. It began operation in 2013.
In other expansion news, Nan Liu added air through bonded capabilities to its Pinghu factory and this investment has received such positive feedback. Nan Liu has already confirmed it will add another one next year. This will bring air through bonded capacity to 600 tons per month.

Currently about half of the company’s sales are conducted in China, but the company has its sites on other parts of Asia, like India. In 2016, the company began investing in the subcontinent, purchasing a land parcel where it will build a nonwovens plant and begin operation in late 2018.

The company has yet to disclose the type of technology in which the investment will be done. “A company must move forward, otherwise it will decline. The next investment plan is currently under preparation and an announcement will go out once confirmed,” Kerstens says.
Kaohsiung City, Taiwan
www.nanliugroup.com
2017 Nonwovens Sales: $229 million


Key Personnel
C.S Huang, chairman; H.S. Huang, president; M. Yang, vice president; Sam Chang, vice president; Bernard Kerstens, commercial director, overseas business

Plants
Kaohsiung, Taiwan; Pinghu, China; Yancho, China

Processes
Spunlace, thermal bond, air through bond, needlepunch


The reversal of China’s one-child policy in 2015 and the subsequent bump in the country’s birth rate helped drive Nan Liu’s sales from $213 million to $229 million between 2016 and 2017. At the same time China continues to promote rural urbanization encouraging large numbers of people to move from rural areas into the cities. 

As these trends are expected to continue for the next few years, Nan Liu Enterprise, based in Kaohsiung City, Taiwan, continues to focus on Asia where nearly all of its sales are targeted.

Nan Liu’s latest plant, in Yancho, China, will begin trial production next month when it will add pure cotton spunlace nonwovens as well as high speed spunlace materials and spunlace nonwovens with biotech finishes to its product offerings.

“Thanks to growing demand in China, Nan Liu spunlace production lines are now fully loaded and production capacity is tight,” says Bernard Kerstens, commercial director of the overseas business. “This is why Nan Liu continues to invest in new spunlace production lines. In addition, the upgrading and modification of an existing old spunlace line could create high value-added products and avoid price competition with competitors.”

Meanwhile, at Nan Liu’s Pinghu plant in China, an additional tract of land has been purchased and a new warehouse has been constructed. Additionally, two baby wipes converting lines are expected to begin operations by the end of the year and a new air-through production line was put into operation in 2018, a decision made in response to the strength of the high end diaper market in China.

“The Chinese diaper market is growing in demand for high-end products so we are now planning to buy another plot of land to add new production lines,” Kerstens says.
Next up for Nan Liu will be India where the company is currently in the planning stages of setting up production. According to Kerstens this investment follows those of Nan Liu’s customers who are already operating successful operations on the sub-continent. “With a population of more than 1.3 billion, its national income is increasing and demand for nonwoven-based products continues to increase. We are optimistic about India’s future market demand and development prospects,” Kerstens says.  “Driven by the continuous growth of the overall Asian economy and the contribution of population growth, we believe that the Asian market of nonwovens will grow further, particularly in China, Southeast Asia and India.”
Kaohsiung City, Taiwan
www.nanliugroup.com
2018 Nonwovens Sales: $238 million


Key Personnel
C.S Huang, chairman; H.S. Huang, president; M. Yang, vice president; Sam Chang, vice president; Bernard Kerstens, commercial director, overseas business

Plants
Kaohsiung, Taiwan; Pinghu, China; Yancho, China

Processes
Spunlace, thermal bond, air through bond, needlepunch


The reversal of China’s one-child policy in 2015 and the subsequent bump in the country’s birth rate helped continue to drive Nan Liu’s sales from $229 million to $238 million between 2017 and 2018. At the same time China continues to promote rural urbanization, encouraging large numbers of people to move from rural areas into the cities.

As these trends are expected to continue for the next few years,

Nan Liu Enterprise, based in Kaohsiung City, Taiwan, continues to focus on Asia where nearly all of its sales are targeted.

Nan Liu’s latest plant, in Yancho, China, started up in late 2018 adding pure cotton spunlace nonwovens as well as high speed spunlace materials and spunlace nonwovens with biotech finishes to its product offerings.

Meanwhile, at Nan Liu’s Pinghu plant in China, an additional tract of land has been purchased and a new warehouse has been constructe. Also two baby wipes converting lines and an air-through production line were put into operation,  in response to the strength of the premium Chinese diaper market.

Next up for Nan Liu will be India where the company is currently in the planning stages of setting up production. According to Bernd Kerstens, commercial director, this investment follows those of Nan Liu’s customers who are already operating successful operations on the sub-continent. “With a population of more than 1.3 billion, its national income is increasing and demand for nonwoven-based products continues to increase. We are optimistic about India’s future market demand and development prospects,” he says.  “Driven by the continuous growth of the overall Asian economy and the contribution of population growth, we believe that the Asian market of nonwovens will grow further, particularly in China, Southeast Asia and India.”
Kaohsiung, Taiwan
www.nanliugroup.com
2019 Nonwovens Sales: $238 million


Key personnel:
John Huang, EVP; Ryan Huang, VP; Jen-Tsung Huang, VP

Plants:
Yenchao I and II (Taiwan), Pinghu (China), Ahmedabad (India)

Processes:
Carded thermalbond, air-through bond, spunlace, meltblown,

A sharp focus on the Asian market as well as an ambitious investment in key growth markets has translated into success for Nan Liu Enterprise. The Kaohsiung City, Taiwan-based nonwovens producer reports that sales reached $238 million in 2019, and this number is rising steadily in 2020 thanks to new investments and a Covid-19-related sales boost.

“During the pandemic period, 46 protection mask lines and a meltblown nonwoven production line were set up,” commercial director Bernard Kerstens says. “Market demand for spunlace nonwovens and air through nonwoven increased enormously and this also caused prices to increase.”

Much of the increases can be attributed to Nan Liu’s Yanchao, Taiwan plant, which started production in early 2019. The site features a 6.2 meter spunlace line, a three-meter wide cotton spunlace line as well as a new meltblown line, assets for coating and producing medical masks and a cleanroom biotechnology building. These investments contributed more than 50% to the revenue growth in Taiwan and additional investments including wet wipes lines and spunbond production are being evaluated.

Meanwhile, Nan Liu plans to invest CNY300 million, or $43 million, to set up four additional air through nonwovens lines in Pinghu, China. The investment responds to a need for higher end, softer materials in the Chinese hygiene market.

“China keeps having higher requirements for material quality,” Kerstens says. “The high-end market is more concerned about whether the new materials are more comfortable rather than the price itself. With the continuous increase of income per capita, the demand in the high-end market continues to grow every year.”

Nan Liu’s next frontier will be India and possibly Vietnam. Last year the company had started construction of a new plant in India in Gujarat state. Start-up of air-through nonwoven line was planned for third quarter of this year but will be delayed by the Coronavirus as border restrictions have restricted machinery shipments and installation. Expanding from this, in a first phase wet wipes and facial mask production lines will also be installed in this plant. In a second phase medical supply production lines will be added, such as nonwoven fabric for gowns, etc.

The company remains bullish about growth in India which will be driven by population growth as well as increases in manufacturing and rising per capita incomes.
“Due to the U.S.-China trade war, many manufacturers have relocated factories too,” Kerstens adds. “The Indian government projects to expand its infrastructure which will attract more global investments to India. This should provide more and better job opportunities and to increase salaries. The enormous population of India will become the huge new market of the future.”
Kaohsiung City, Taiwan
www.e-nonwoven.com.tw
2020 Nonwoven Sales: $348 million


Key Personnel
John Huang, EVP; Ryan Huang, VP,  Jen-Tsung Huang, VP

Plants
Yanchao I and II (Taiwan), Pinghu (China), Ahmedabad (India)

Processes
Carded thermal bond, air-through bond, spunlace, meltblown,

Surging demand for personal protective equipment such as face masks, mask fabric, protective gowns and gown fabrics drove sales upward to $348 million at Nan Liu Enterprise. Early on in the Covid-19 pandemic, the company prioritized production of anti-pandemic related products. Production at the company’s plants in Yanchao, Taiwan, was centered on making these products while Nan Liu’s Pinghu site on mainland China focused on making the company’s core products and focusing on existing customers.

While business began to normalize in early 2021, infection surges in Taiwan continued into the second quarter increasing demand again for PPE.

In 2020, Nan Liu set up 50 protection mask lines (120 million masks/month) and a meltblown nonwoven production line in Yanchao Taiwan. Additionally market demand for spunlace nonwovens and air through nonwoven increased enormously and this also caused prices to increase.

“The market demand for face masks in Taiwan is approaching normalization right now,” says exports director Bernard Kerstens. “There is now a situation of oversupply in the markets for face masks and meltblown materials. The market demand will continue to exist, but we need to upgrade our products and production technology to transform from general medical masks to production of surgical masks and N95 and FFP2 masks. Meltblown cloth has also been transformed to produce HEPA and elastic cloth.”

The Yanchao, Taiwan, plant also houses a 6.2 meter spunlace line, a three-meter wide cotton spunlace line as well as assets for coating and producing medical masks and a cleanroom biotechnology building.

The spunlace line has benefitted from the demand for isolation gowns and protective gowns related to pandemic prevention products. While the company has no plan to add to its spunlace manufacturing footprint, it is upgrading another existing spunlace line to allow it to make industrial wipe and surgical gown fabrics. This investment is expected to be complete next year.

Meanwhile production in Pinghu, where Nan Liu has recently invested $43 million to add four air though bonding lines, remains strong as air through lines are operating.