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SMT & Inspection | June 02, 2006

Cookson continue China investment

Cookson Group plc thas announced three new projects - totaling £10 million of investment - which will further expand the Chinese activities of Vesuvius, Cookson's Ceramics division.
Commenting on the new investments, Francois Wanecq, Chief Executive of Vesuvius said: "We have successfully grown Vesuvius' local presence in China over the last ten years. These new projects - totaling £10 million of investment - will provide further profitable growth by exploiting our leading technologies in new, highly efficient facilities supplying growing markets in the foundry, glass and solar cell markets." Construction of £5 million Foundry Crucibles facility in Suzhou (Jiangsu Province) This £5 million facility will be constructed in Suzhou close to Vesuvius' two existing manufacturing sites which make, respectively, flow control products for the continuous casting of steel and fused silica ceramics used in the glass industry. The new facility, which will be operational by mid-2007, will produce long life, high performance alumina graphite crucibles for the fast growing non-ferrous foundry market. The Chinese foundry industry is the largest in the world and has experienced growth of around 10% over the last few years. Future growth is expected to be driven by the expansion of China's automotive and aerospace industries. This new investment, along with our existing crucible plants in Europe, India and NAFTA, will further enhance Vesuvius' position as one of the leading suppliers of crucibles for the foundry market in the world. £2 million expansion of our Glass Roller facility in Kua Tang (Jiangsu Province) Our existing facility, which manufactures fused silica rollers used in the glass tempering industry under the Zyarock® brand, is to undergo a major, £2 million, expansion to become Vesuvius' worldwide lead centre for glass roller production. As well as producing finished products for the Asian markets, the expansion will allow this facility to supply 'blank' rollers to other Vesuvius facilities in Europe and NAFTA for final finishing before distribution to end customers. The market for glass rollers has seen good growth in recent years driven by the buoyant construction sector in China combined with the very strong demand for flat screen televisions. The expansion of the facility is expected to be completed by the end of 2006. Construction of new £3 million Solar Crucible facility in Kua Tang (Jiangsu Province) A new, £3 million, facility will be constructed alongside the existing glass roller facility at Kua Tang to manufacture solar crucibles used to contain silicon at very high temperatures in the manufacture of photovoltaic ("solar") cells. This industry is currently experiencing double-digit growth and is forecast to accelerate as the market for renewable sources of energy develops. The facility is expected to be operational by the end of 2006. About Cookson Group plc Cookson Group plc is a leading materials science company operating on a worldwide basis in Ceramics, Electronics and Precious Metals markets. The Ceramics division is the world leader in the supply of advanced flow control refractory products and systems to the global steel industry and a leading supplier of specialist ceramic products to the glass and foundry industries. It is also the regional leader in the US, UK and Australia in the supply and installation of monolithic refractory linings. The Electronics division is a leading supplier of advanced surface treatment and plating chemicals and assembly materials to the automotive, construction and electronics markets. The Precious Metals division is the leading supplier of fabricated precious metals (gold, silver, platinum, etc.) to the jewellery industry in the US, the UK, France and Spain. Products include alloy materials, semi-finished jewellery components and finished jewellery.
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