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SGL Group to Benefit from Push for Renewable Energy
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Germany's SGL Group, the world's top maker of carbon and graphite products, is set to benefit from the Chinese government's push for more renewable energy.


Hariolf Kottmann, a member of SGL's executive committee, said roughly 20 percent of the company's sales in China are related to renewable energy projects such as wind farms and solar cells, and the rate "must grow."


Carbon fibers are widely used in the manufacture of wind turbine blades while graphite materials are used in solar cells, among many other applications.


Kottmann also said SGL is in talks to supply graphite and carbon materials for a nuclear plant in China.


The central government is encouraging the use of renewable resources such as wind and biomass to cut its increasing reliance on crude oil imports and reduce pollution from burning coal.


Kottmann was speaking in Shanghai at a press conference to announce Asia will be SGL's focus over the coming years after the company restructured.


He said China accounts for close to 10 percent of SGL's global sales of about 1.2 billion euros (US$1.58 billion) last year. He wouldn't give a Chinese sales target, saying they are interested more in profitability than size.


SGL has manufacturing plants in Shanghai and Ningbo, Zhejiang Province. It also supplies industrial companies such as steel producers and chemical makers.


(Shanghai Daily March 16, 2007)


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