TUBACEX, a leading multi-national group with industrial facilities in Spain, Austria, the USA, Italy, China and India, has agreed to create a joint venture business with Awaji Materia – a Japanese manufacturer of stainless steel and carbon fittings – to manufacture special stainless steel components at its factory in Thailand.

This operation follows a statement of intent signed and announced last May and implies a capital increase of US$ 3.3 million subscribed by Tubacex Group through the Italian firm IBF, which accounts for 60% of the new company’s stake. As compensation for the remaining 40%, Awaji Materia will provide the assets for the stainless steel special fittings factory.

The new company, Tubacex Awaji Thailand, currently employs 40 people and will invoice 20-25 million euros over the next three years with the manufacture of stainless steel elbows, reductions, Ts and Caps. These are standard small diameter products that complement TUBACEX's “fittings” range offered through TTA (Alava) and IBF (Italy), allowing for industrial synergies with its tube plant in India.

TUBACEX's joint venture with Awaji Materia enables the Spanish industrial giant to maintain its commitment to the Asian continent, which it believes is one of the fastest growing markets.

Jesús Esmorís, CEO of TUBACEX, said that the crisis in the sector has hit the fitting business particularly hard. "But we have reacted with a plan for the specialisation of our plants and a strategic acquisition in Thailand that will help us to reach our goals of diversification, better positioning in the value chain and proximity to the final user”.

Awaji Materia, founded in 1944 and dedicated to the manufacture of stainless steel and carbon fittings, claims it has a high level of market penetration in Southeast Asia, as well as in North America and Japan.