MAXAM's first China unit starts operations in Shandong province

By Jing Shuiyu | (China Daily )| Updated : 2019-10-31

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A screenshot from the official website of MAXAM. [Photo/]

MAXAM, a provider of energetic materials and blasting solutions, aims to gain a toehold in the China market with its first plant in Shandong province having started operations, company executives said.

With a total investment of 70 million euros ($77.8 million), the new facility is a joint venture project among MAXAM, Shandong Tianbao and Weihai Yuboqiang. It began operation last week.

"We are very excited about starting our new journey in China, a large and promising market," Jose Fernando Sanchez-Junco Mans, chairman and CEO of the company, said at the opening ceremony.

"The Chinese economy is now on its strategic transformation trajectory to sustainability and high-quality growth, which provides tremendous business opportunities to MAXAM. Our new manufacturing facility is evidence of MAXAM's confidence about its future in China and its strong commitment to the China market."

Located in Pingyi, Shandong province, the plant will manufacture explosives and initiation systems for the mining, quarrying and infrastructure construction industries in China.

The new plant has an annual production capacity of 10,000 metric tons of watergel cartridges, a type of explosive, and 60 million detonators, devices used to trigger an explosive device. In addition to the new plant, MAXAM also has offices in Beijing, with over 100 employees nationwide.

Asked about the reason for the expansion at a time of mounting economic uncertainty, the chairman said it had taken many years for the company to make the decision to enter China, one of the world's largest and fastest-growing civil explosive markets.

"The unstable market environment is temporary, while the company's development is long-term," he said. "No matter how complicated the international environment is, we must accept it. Our technology, safety and products are our strengths."

Founded by Alfred Nobel in 1872, MAXAM employs more than 6,500 people in five continents, in 80 industrial facilities, with subsidiaries in more than 50 countries and commercial operations in over 100 countries. At the close of the 2019 financial year on March 31, 2019, the company's turnover stood at over 1.1 billion euros.

In the first nine months of this year, foreign direct investment into the Chinese mainland grew 6.5 percent year-on-year to 683.21 billion yuan ($96.4 billion), the Ministry of Commerce said.

A total of 30,871 foreign-funded firms were founded in the first nine months, the ministry's data showed.

Zhang Yansheng, a senior researcher with the China Center for International Economic Exchanges, said China has entered a stage of high-quality development, and the industrial and demand structure have been continuously optimized.

It is a great opportunity for foreign firms to participate in China's economic transformation and upgrading, Zhang said.