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K-C to make debut in Russia, considers North Korean plant.

Kimberly-Clark, Dallas, TX, one of the World's biggest makers of healthcare and sanitary goods, is underway with plans to construct its first manufacturing facility in Russia to support its growing consumer business there and in Eastern Europe. The multi-million dollar facility will be built in phases and will produce personal care and tissue products under the well-known Huggies and Kleenex brands.

Accelerating growth in developing and emerging markets is one of Kimberly-Clark's targeted growth initiatives. The company has placed particular emphasis on Russia and five other key countries that it refers to as BRICIT--Brazil, Russia, Indonesia, China, India and Turkey.

"Russia is a strategically important market for K-C due to its rapid economic growth and the long-term potential of its health and hygiene categories," said Tom Davis, president of K-C's Middle East, Eastern Europe and Africa group. "Local manufacturing is a key element of our strategy."

Construction at the site will begin this month with start-up of the facility scheduled for early 2009. The first phase of development will provide for site preparation, construction of manufacturing buildings, offices, warehousing and roads. The facility will be located in Stupino, approximately 60 miles (100 km) southeast from Moscow, and will occupy an area of about 100 acres (40 hectares).

The project will create approximately 150 new Jobs in Stupino by the middle of 2009, with additional jobs being added as increased manufacturing capacity comes on line over the next few years. Construction on the site and the need for local support services are also expected to boost employment in the Stupino area.

In other recent globalization efforts, K-C is reportedly considering opening a factory in a South Korean-built industrial zone in North Korea, according to a senior executive. Moon Kook-hyun, CEO of Yuhan-Kimberly Ltd., Kimberly-Clark's South Korean unit in Seoul, recently revealed that the company's plant in China may take part in slots of the industrial complex in the North Korean border city of Gaeseong. "First of all, I plan to sign a preliminary contract (to take part in the Gaeseong industrial complex) and then will persuade our head office," Mr. Moon said.

Mr. Moon and Thomas Falk, K-C chairman, visited the Gaeseong industrial park in February. Currently, state-run Korea Land Corp. is receiving bids from foreign companies that want to set up factories in Gaeseong, located just 70 kilometers north of Seoul. "If Kimberly-Clark applies to receive land for the Gaeseong industrial park, there will be no difficulty," said an official at Korea Land.

South Korea began building the industrial park in 2003 on a trial basis with the hope of creating a model for eventual reunification of the Korean Peninsula. If the industrial zone becomes fully operational by 2012, more than 350,000 North Korean workers will work there, according to the South's Unification Ministry.

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Title Annotation:Nonwoven News: A look at What's Going On In The Industry
Publication:Nonwovens Industry
Date:Oct 1, 2007
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