Nongshim breaks ground for China water plant

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Nongshim breaks ground for China water plant

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A ceremony Wednesday marks the beginning of construction on Nongshim’s new mineral water plant in Jilin Province, northeastern China. The new plant will cost US Dollar 196 million and will be completed in about a year.Provided by the company

Nongshim is well known abroad for its shrimp-flavored snack called Saewookkang and instant noodles Shin Ramen. As part of efforts to expand its international footprint, the company will build a mineral water production facility in northeastern China.

Nongshim on Wednesday held a groundbreaking for the plant in Erdaobaihe, which will be able to produce one million tons of mineral water a year. As much as 80 percent of that will be sold in China.

Nongshim already produces Baeksansu (Baeksan water) at its existing factory China.

“The new Baeksansu facility will be an advanced base that will lead Nongshim’s growth looking forward to the next 100 years,” said Park Joon, chief executive of Nongshim. “The new facility also will be a foundation for us to compete with other companies as they, too, are involved in developing water resources from Mount Baekdu.”

Nongshim says it will invest 200 billion won ($196 million) in the new facility that is expected to be operating by September 2015. It will be Nongshim’s largest single investment since the company was founded in 1965. The new Baeksansu facility will be located on a 300,000-square-meter (74-acre) site with a floor area of 84,000 square meters.

Nongshim’s existing facility has an annual production capacity of 250,000 tons. Adding the new production will allow Nongshim to turn out 1.25 million tons of Baeksansu per year.

Competition is expected to be fierce. There are already local players including Wahaha and Kangshifu that are developing and selling mineral water in China.

Last month, China’s largest real estate development company, Hongda Group, announced it also plans to get into the mineral water business using resources from Mount Baekdu.

BY LEE EUN-JOO [angie@joongang.co.kr]


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