W.R. Grace Opens New Facilities in Latin America

March 28, 2011
Part of the company's strategy to invest in emerging markets
Grace Construction Products, an operating segment of W.R. Grace & Co., recently opened new manufacturing facilities in Cartagena, Colombia, and Panama City, Panama.Both facilities will manufacture cement additives and concrete admixtures, serving customers in Colombia, Panama and throughout Central America and the Caribbean. The facilities also will house sales and technical service offices, as well as quality-control laboratories, according to the company.The facilities are the latest in a series of emerging-market investments for W.R. Grace in the construction industry. In 2010, the company opened new manufacturing sites in Hai Duong, Vietnam; Chongqing, China; and Dammam, Saudi Arabia; and acquired manufacturing facilities in Wuhan, China."We continue to invest in emerging economies to capitalize on double-digit industry growth rates," said Fred Festa, chairman, president and CEO of Columbia, Md.-based W.R. Grace. "Through the opening of plants like the ones in Panama City and Cartagena, we are leveraging our deep industry knowledge and product innovation to build new long-term customer relationships."In 2010, W.R. Grace's sales from emerging regions (as defined by the International Monetary Fund) were 33% of the company's total revenue, an increase from 29% in 2009, according to the company. W.R. Grace entered the Colombian market in 1972 with a sales office. In 1988, the company opened a manufacturing facility in Bogota, where Grace's other operating segment, Grace Davison, manufactures plastisols, lubricants, thinners and coatings.Grace's Panamanian subsidiary was founded in 2010.
About the Author

Josh Cable | Former Senior Editor

Former Senior Editor Josh Cable covered innovation issues -- including trends and best practices in R&D, process improvement and product development. He also reported on the best practices of the most successful companies and executives in the world of transportation manufacturing, which encompasses the aerospace, automotive, rail and shipbuilding sectors. 

Josh also led the IndustryWeek Manufacturing Hall of Fame, IW’s annual tribute to the most influential executives and thought leaders in U.S. manufacturing history.

Before joining IndustryWeek, Josh was the editor-in-chief of Penton Media’s Government Product News and Government Procurement. He also was an award-winning beat reporter for several small newspapers in Northeast Ohio.

Josh received his BFA in creative writing from Bowling Green University, and continued his professional development through course-work at Ohio University and Cuyahoga Community College.

A lifelong resident of the Buckeye State, Josh currently lives in the Tremont neighborhood of Cleveland. When the weather cooperates, you’ll find him riding his bike to work, exercising his green thumb in the backyard or playing ultimate Frisbee.  

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