Grohe expanding Rayong zinc plant with B1bn outlay

Grohe expanding Rayong zinc plant with B1bn outlay

Grohe's zinc manufacturing facility plant in Klaeng, Rayong province. The expansion will support the growth of luxury sanitary utensils in the country.
Grohe's zinc manufacturing facility plant in Klaeng, Rayong province. The expansion will support the growth of luxury sanitary utensils in the country.

Grohe, the world's leading provider of sanitary fittings and part of Lixil Corporation, is investing more than 1 billion baht to expand its zinc manufacturing facility plant in Klaeng, Rayong as part of international growth strategy.

Grohe's plant expansion is aimed at doubling the manufacturing capacity to 12 million pieces per year from 6.6 million pieces, at what is considered the most sustainable plant in Southeast Asia.

Grohe chief executive Michael Rauterkus said the company is growing along with the expansion of the plant at Klaeng.

Mr Rauterkus said Grohe Siam started as a small factory in Thailand in 22 years ago but now the plant in Rayong is one of the largest manufacturers of one-hand mixers in the world.

"Today we are taking our growth to the next level, cementing the success of Grohe in Thailand and Asia," said Mr Rauterkus.

Mr Rauterkus said Germany, France, and Holland were the biggest markets for Grohe, but Asia has become one of the biggest international markets due to the growing demands of Asian people in the past few years.

Sitthirat Watcharaporn, the general manager of Grohe Thailand, believes the expansion in Rayong will support the increasing growth of luxury sanitary utensils in the country.

Mr Rauterkus and Mr Sitthirat did not provide a specific figure for the market value of sanitary utensils in Thailand due to fragmented research and lack of academic studies, but said that the average global market value is 3 billion baht and Grohe's share is nearly half of that.

The latest plant expansion will be completed in 2021, and is expected to create more than 800 new jobs within five years in Thailand -- bringing the total to 2,500 jobs.

As Grohe invests in new technologies, jobs and sustainability in all of its production plants, the expansion in Klaeng represents the latest in a series of investments, said the company's executives.

In the last five years, Grohe has invested over 3 billion baht into its five production sites at Hemer, Lahr and Porta Westfalica in Germany, Albergaria in Portugal, and Klaeng in Rayong.

The factory in Klaeng occupies 12,000 square meters and enabled Grohe to introduce a new manufacturing technology for zinc parts.

The manufacturing processes follow two major material streams, from raw materials brass and zinc to the assembly of the complete finished product and shipping products to customers.

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