ABB plans big in China

01 Sep 2005

ABB Ltd., the world's biggest maker of power transformers, will spend $100 million in China to open factories and hire as many as 4,000 employees in three years.

The company will use a part of the investment to fund the $30 million it will invest with a unit of China Shipbuilding Industry Corp. to make turbo-engine parts for ships near the southwestern city of Chongqing, President and Chief Executive Officer Fred Kindle, 46, said at a briefing today in Beijing.

Zurich-based ABB has invested $600 million in China, much of it for plants that make power and automation equipment, he said. The company is boosting its mainland presence as part of a group-wide effort to prune costs globally. Sales growth in China has boosted earnings in recent quarters.

The company has two ventures in Xian and two in Chongqing, including new sales offices in the western part of the nation in cities such as Hothot and Urumqi, Kindle said. The company plans to start the process for two more ventures, also in the same region, he said, without elaborating. ABB, which has 8,000 employees in China, plans to have 12,000 by 2008, Kindle said.

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