The production of glass fibre reinforcements will start by the fourth quarter 2011 at Ahlstrom's existing Binzhou plant, in Shandong Province, China. Ahlstrom will install multiaxial machines at the Binzhou site, which currently manufactures transportation filtration materials and employs 170 people.

"China has become a global power house in wind energy and through this investment we can better serve our global and local customers in the country," says Laura Raitio, Executive Vice President, Building and Energy, Ahlstrom.

"This gives us a good platform for further growth in the fast growing wind energy markets in China and elsewhere in Asia."

Ahlstrom's Building and Energy Business Area currently serves the European, North American and Asian wind energy markets from its plants in Mikkeli in Finland, and Bishopville, South Carolina, USA.

In 2010, Ahlstrom's total net sales in the Asia Pacific-region grew by almost 50% and the company acquired a filtration plant and announced a joint venture in China for the production of masking tape substrates and medical papers. The company also announced an investment in wallcover materials manufacturing in China in June.