Unilever's new global manufacturing base, which has an area of 400 mu, has formally started construction in Meishan, Sichuan province.
With an investment of nearly CNY300 million, the first-phase project will be responsible for washing powder production. This project is expected to put into production in 2015 and its capacity will be over 200,000 tons. While meeting the demand of western Chinese market, the manufacturing base will also handle the firm's export business.
Paul Polman, global chief executive officer of Unilever, revealed that the new Sichuan manufacturing base will become one of the largest manufacturing bases for Unilever around the world. Polman said at present, its businesses in emerging markets have accounted for 57% of its global businesses; meanwhile, China has rapidly become one of its most important markets.
In 2002, Unilever built a manufacturing base in Anhui's Hefei, making family and personal care products. By 2012, the output of this manufacturing base reached CNY16 billion. Also in 2012, Unilever set a new goal for the Chinese market, stating that by 2020, its business volume will be over EUR5 billion. In March 2013, the company established an industrial park project in Tianjin.
As Unilever's major competitor in China, Procter & Gamble started construction of a new plant in Taicang at the end of December 2012, with a total investment of CNY1.836 billion. In Procter & Gamble's planning, the new Taicang plant will not only be its tenth manufacturing center in China, but also will be one of the company's largest bases in China and Asia. Apart from making shampoo, this plant reserves spaces for new products.