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Pressure on its UK manufacturing capability, due to better than expected demand, has led geotextile firm Tensar International to purchase a £15M production plant in China. The company hopes the factory, which opened in September, will relieve the strain on its plant in the north of England.

Tensar International chief executive Jim Paul said demand in 2005 was well above forecast levels for the Shadsworth factory in Blackburn. 'This has put enormous pressure on the factory, and on delivery times, ' he said.

'To alleviate this, we agreed to buy out our Chinese partners in the plant in Hubei province that we had been developing as a joint venture.

We now have the freedom to develop the plant and to supply areas outside China.' The company believes having a regional supplier will be an advantage for the well publicised infrastructure projects in China in the next four to 10 years, as well as the Asia Pacific region in general.

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