China’s largest auto plastic fuel tank maker Yapp Automotive Parts has launched its first plant in Russia with the opening of a €16m unit in Grabtsevo district near Kaluga in the west of the country. The new plant, with a capacity of 250,000 vehicle tanks a year, is sited close to the nearby Volkswagen car assembly plant, and will also serve the local vehicle assembly operations of the PSA Peugeot Citroen and Mitsubishi groups. The new facility of Yangzhou, China-based Yapp, on a 20 hectare site also near to the Kaluga plant of Canadian auto components producer Magna, is set to employ a workforce of up to 130. At the July launch of the Russian plant, Yapp revealed that if its national project is successful it means to install a second line with a capacity of 200,000 tanks per year, reported the Russian paper The Moscow Times. “Our products are already being supplied to Volkswagen’s plant in Kaluga for VW, Skoda Fabia and Octavia automobiles,” the paper reported Yapp’s managing director So Deng Hua as stating at the event. Meanwhile, the Chinese car parts manufacturer is preparing to establish another new plant to make fuel tanks in the Czech Republic city of Mlada Boleslav. In China, the group has 10 subsidiary operations including one each in Yangzhou, Shanghai, Changchun, Wuhan, Chongqing, Wuhu, Yantai and Chengdu. There, it holds a 50% share of the domestic tanks market. Yapp also has businesses abroad in India and Australia. The firm is equipped to produce monolayer, monolayer fluorinated and six layer automotive fuel tanks. Last year, Yapp formed an international strategic alliance with the smaller Canadian plastic tanks manufacturer and auto parts supplier ABC Group with a view to providing tanks in Asia, Europe and North America. The partners will work together in development and manufacturing and have research and developments in both China and North America. This deal was aimed at helping the two firms to bid for a part in the growing number of global automotive projects against the big components supply groups. The alliance will rank in the world’s top three plastic fuel tank makers.