Frigel’s New Thai Production Plant Nearly Complete

Process cooling technology supplier Frigel, Scandicci, Italy, has nearly completed a new manufacturing site in Thailand that will boost its global production footprint by more than 50%.

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Frigel CEO Orindo Dorin discussed the $7 million greenfield investment during NPE2015. The new 97,000-sq-ft facility in Bangkok replaces a roughly 11,000-sq-ft existing site in the country, and joins global production operations in Italy (Florence and Milan), as well as Brazil, which started up in 2012.

Dorin and Benjamin Sutch, Frigel’s president of sales for Asia, said the expansion, which will serve the Asian Pacific market, is in response to strong growth in the region, with both expecting sales growth of 25% there in 2015 and the same or more next year.

That growth has been prompted by a “perfect storm”, according to Sutch, with large swaths of Asia in a “water crisis” and a push by China to invest in new, more efficient and productive technologies as its ability to exploit lower labor costs weakens and the Yuan strengthens.

“Water scarcity is a real issue throughout Asia,” Sutch said. “In many places, they’re pumping ground water out faster than it can be replaced.” In response, water prices continue to rise and “old outdated systems become much more expensive to maintain,” Sutch added.

Frigel’s process cooling technology, particularly its adiabatic-based Ecodry systems, promises users more efficient use of water in the cooling process. This fact is driving interest throughout Asia, which accounts for about 25% of Frigel’s sales today, according to Dorin, but will generate 40% of its revenue in the future. 

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