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Pirelli, Continental steel cord factory opens in Romania

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Pirelli & Cie SpA and Continental AG opened its joint venture steel cord production plant, Cord Romania, in Slatina, Romania, today. Pirelli owns 80% of the plant, Continental 20%.

The factory is located on a 100,000-square-meter area and has 350 employees. Once fully operational, yearly output will be 30,000 tons of steel cord tarketed for the fast-growing East European markets.

The new facility will require an investment of 40 million euros over several years and will allow Cord Romania to meet growing demand -- already almost two times supply.

This investment, the first ever made by Pirelli in the Balkan region, is part of the company's expansion strategy in Romania. This strategy includes the opening of a new high performance passenger tire plant in Slatina by 2006; it, too, will serve eastern Europe.

For Continental, the new investment builds on its already considerable presence in the region and will provide a competitive new source of steel cord to help meet its growing demand.

The new initiative also strengthens cooperation between Pirelli and Continental in the manufacture of steel cord. Drahtcord Saar, a 50-50 joint venture between the companies based in Merzig, is more than 30 years old.

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