A Chinese group plans to build a tire factory in As Pontes
The industrial vacuum left by the Endesa thermal power plant in As Pontes could be covered with the landing of Chinese investment. The Sentury Tire group, which manufactures low cost tires, plans to build a factory in the town of A Coruña. The company itself announced its intention in a communication to the Shenzen Stock Exchange last December. His forecast is that the new factory will produce 12 million tires a year for what will be necessary an investment of 522.59 million euros.
The economic vice-president, Francisco Conde, confirmed this morning that for a year we have been working with investors to analyze the feasibility of the plant. “It is an important and relevant project for Galicia,” said Conde.
Sources from his department explain that it is still in a phase of preliminary consultations and that its processing has not yet begun. As Conde explained, the possible environmental and patrimonial impacts are currently being analyzed to guarantee that the investment will be viable. “Galicia is identifying opportunities and is being attractive to develop new investments,” said the councilor.
The landing of Chinese capital in As Pontes has not been by chance. Endesa, the owner of the thermal plant, is awaiting authorization to shut down the thermal plant. Once it does, it will present the Futur-e plan, which it launches in the regions in which it closes the coal plants. To get ahead of work commissioned an international consultancy firm to search for companies that may be interested in investing in the area and this is where Sentury Tire appeared. In order to try to re-industrialize the areas affected by the thermal blackout, the central government has also created the so-called fair transition zones, in Galicia As Pontes and Cerceda have already been declared. It is expected that the companies that settle in them can receive substantial aid from European funds destined to mitigate the effects of the decarbonisation of the economy to fight against climate change.
Neither the Xunta nor Endesa have wanted to give details about the Sentury Tire project. A few days ago, the mayor of As Pontes, Valentín Gónzalez Formoso, revealed in an interview with ‘Mundiario’ that the factory could create 756 jobs in the area. If the project is completed, it will be difficult for the operators to have the same working conditions that existed in the electricity company. Endesa has also announced its intention to build a green hydrogen factory in As Pontes. According to Formoso, it could serve to supply energy to the Chinese factory.
According to specialized portals in the world of wheels and tires, the Chinese group has already created a company in Spain Sentury Tire Spain and wants to launch the project in two phases. In the first two years the plant should reach a production of six million tires and in the third year put the factory at full capacity with 12 million.
Sentury Tire was created in Qingdao in 2009. Its main factory is located in this Chinese city in the Shandong province. Its other manufacturing plant is in Thailand, where it opened a factory in 2015, with the capacity to produce 12 million units per year. On its website, the company claims that it is one of the most automated tire factories in the world. As Formoso explained, Sentury has signed a supply contract with BMW and Audi for tires for its electric vehicle lines. «The environmental traceability that these brands demand is so high that it can only be met in Europe or the United States. When Trump blocked Chinese investments is when the option of settling in As Pontes arose. A decision that will benefit the port of Ferrol”, he explained to Mundiario.