The world's biggest producer of automotive catalysts is set to expand its auto-catalyst coating facilities, writes Cartoday.com (13/11/00). Engelhard Corporation is to invest US $30-million (R225 million) in Port Elizabeth - bringing total investment by the company to around US $100 million (R730 million), says the South African media site citing Edmund Stanczak, Vice President and General Manager of Engelhard's Environmental Technologies Group.

Construction of the 13,000 sq. metre site - which has already begun - will increase the plant's present production levels currently standing at three million units per annum.

Local technicians alongside graduates are to be trained for the Engelhard Port Elizabeth site, with equipment set to be transferred in mid-2001. The plant is expected to be fully operational in 2002.

Quoting Mr Stanczak, Cartoday.com reports that as Port Elizabeth is one of Engelhard's key manufacturing sites, it is committed to transferring technology to support the development of this plant.

The SA automotive portal reports Errol Stopforth, General Manager of the Port Elizabeth facility - where 70 new local jobs will be created - as saying that the plant will boast the latest equipment, placing the Eastern Cape at the leading edge of technology.

Complementing this Port Elizabeth project, Engelhard is also expanding its other auto-catalyst manufacturing sites in Nienburg, Germany and Maraimalai Nager, India. Engelhard has also opened new plants in China and Brazil, according to the report.