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Nalco eyes doubling of sales in China

NALCO Holding Co, which makes chemicals for water treatment, aims to double China sales in five years as it takes advantage of the government's promotion of sustainable growth.

The United States company, which was the only firm added to billionaire investor Warren Buffett's stock portfolio in the fourth quarter last year, views China the "top priority" for growth and new investment, Chairman and CEO Erik Fyrwald said yesterday.

Nalco last year matched its largest sales growth in a decade, expanding 7.8 percent to US$4.21 billion. China sales were about US$150 million.

"We aim to double our China sales within five years and expect China to grow from our fourth-largest to the second-largest market within five years or less," Fyrwald said, adding the country would eventually become Nalco's biggest market. "The only limitation I've ever seen to China's fast growth are the challenges from environment, water and energy."

Nalco provides integrated water treatment and process improvement services, chemicals and equipment programs to a range of end markets including petroleum, steel, paper as well as food and beverage. For example, Nalco provides coal-fired power production technology that helps reduce harmful emissions.

Nalco announced yesterday that it has appointed Ying Yeh, the former chairman and president for North Asia for Eastman Kodak Co, as its group vice president and chairman for Nalco China.

Nalco plans to double its headcount in China over several years from more than 500 at the end of 2008.


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