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Amiantit to Open Plant in Alrode

29 November 2001

Saudi pipe manufacturer Amiantit, which entered the South Africa market earlier this year by acquiring Somerset West-based glass reinforced polyester (GRP) pipe producer Flowtite Vectus, is establishing a new manufacturing facility in Alrode, Alberton.

Amiantit Pipe Systems Africa MD Derek Pitfield says in addition to the new facility, acquisitions currently under negotiation are likely to take the company's total new investment to about R50m. The South Africa group already manufactures GRP, polyethylene, polypropylene and PVC pipes, and is to start distributing ductile iron pipes and glass fibre tanks and fittings.

Pitfield says while the main manufacturing unit for Africa will be in Alrode, the intention is to develop capabilities in other southern African countries and export product throughout the continent in partnership with the German trading company Jos Hansen, in which Amiantit has a 25% stake. ""This investment is a reflection of the confidence that the Amiantit Group has in South Africa as well as Africa as a whole,"" Pitfield says. ""Africa was identified by Amiantit as a developing market requiring the broad spectrum of products and specialised supply and installation expertise that Amiantit can offer.""

Amiantit is listed on the Saudi Stock Exchange, with a market capitalisation of over $400m, and operates globally. The current strategy is to focus on developing markets such as Africa, South America, Eastern Europe and China.