Ecolab Inc. (NYSE: ECL) today celebrated the opening of a manufacturing plant and distribution center in Taicang, China, as part of an expanding company presence within the country. The facility is Ecolab’s third-largest in the world and the company’s largest in the Asia Pacific region.
The 546,000 square-foot (166,600 square-meter) property has 141,000 square feet (43,000 square meters) of floor space and the capacity to produce 150,000 tons of product annually. Initially, the facility will have 55 employees, and by 2017, more than 350 employees will work at the facility.
The Taicang plant will be capable of producing all of the Ecolab products sold in China; a complete portfolio of cleaning, sanitation, food safety and infection prevention solutions for customers in a wide range of growing industries, including: food and beverage production, food retail, hospitality, healthcare, and dairy, meat and poultry processing.
“According to the 12th Five-Year Plan put forward by the Chinese government, improving food quality and ensuring food safety will continue to be a major focus in China,” said Douglas M. Baker, Jr., Ecolab chairman and CEO, at today’s grand opening ceremony. “This plant shows our commitment to providing innovative and sustainable products and services to support food safety and public health solutions in China.”
In addition to creating products that help improve food safety and public health practices, the plant has been designed for environmental sustainability. It operates using features that reduce energy and water consumption while minimizing waste production. The facility will not discharge industrial wastewater. The facility’s wastewater treatment plant will convert process wastewater into distilled water for re-use on-site.
Ecolab entered China in 1987. Since 2008, Ecolab has invested $150 million in Chinese markets. In addition to the new Taicang plant, Ecolab currently operates five other plants in Nanjing, Suzhou, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Taiwan.
“Together with our other plant locations, our newest Taicang facility will be a main driver of continued Ecolab growth in China,” said Tim Wang, vice president and general manager of Ecolab Greater China. “As we grow, we will continue to promote food safety and public health awareness and best practices.”