The projected $80 million investment by Gulf PolyTex will see airlaid production in the Middle East for the first time once it is given the green light.
"The project in Kuwait is on hold for the time being, due to the current situation in the Gulf," said company chief Jesper Dobel, "but beside that we are busy. We have just completed an installation in Japan, are progressing very well with the first installation for China, and are working intensively with the second plant for China. We have this year already concluded contracts for a turnkey airlaid plant for Russia and a pilot plant installation for the US, as well as recently concluding a contract for an Italian customer for a plant combining carding, airlaid and spunlace."
Dan-Web has two contracts in China are substantial. One order for a multibeam airlaid plant is the largest contract in the Danish company's history. The $43 million line for Hong-Kong-based venture capital company Honggao will be capable of producing both latex bonded and thermal bonded materials as well as combinations of the two processes when it begins operation sometime next year.
The new 2.2-metre-wide facility will mainly produce wipes and feminine hygiene products, with an estimated annual capacity of 12,000 tonnes.
Nanning Qiahong New Materials has also ordered a Dan-Web airlaid line in a $30 million partnership between Nanning Sugar and International Airlaid - a consortium providing part of the financing.
Dan-Web's drum forming technology for airlaid material has over the last four years taken the lead in the airlaid sector. During this period and despite the global recession, the company has sold plants all over the world. New plants, which have been contracted during this period include three in the USA, one in Canada, the two in China, two in Japan, two in Italy, one in Russia, and one in France. Four of these plants were sold in 2002 and another three plants have already been sold in 2003.
From being a technology with fairly low line speeds and web qualities, which could not be considered as state-of-the-art, the technology has changed considerably, Mr Dobel says. Significant resources, both in terms of finance and manpower, have driven the development of the technology to a point where the materials produced meet the highest demands from the market and with production capacities and line speeds, which are superior to any competing technologies. Significant investments have been made in upgrading Dan-Web's two 600mm pilot plants and a new forming system for longer fibres is in its second stage of development. For 2003-2004 new investments are planned for a complete new pilot plant, which is to replace Dan-Web's 600 m/min high speed pilot plant.
Today Dan-Web's plants range from smaller market entrance systems in widths from 600-1300mm, to full blown five-metre-wide, high capacity and high speed production plants.
"The keyword for Dan-Web technology is flexibility," said Mr Dobel. "Dan-Web's bonding techniques vary from thermal bonding via hydrogen bonding to latex bonding. Multibonding, which is a combination of thermal bonding and latex bonding, is one of the most popular processes for airlaid materials for feminine hygiene products, and is a process which is covered by one of Dan-Web's many patents. Dan-Web's forming technology can also be used in combination with a variety of other technologies like spunlace/airlace, spunbond/meltblown, or similar forming technologies. Furthermore the technology is able to handle special fibres like glass and carbon fibres, leather fibres or different kinds of fibrous waste material." - Agencies
March 25, 2003