Two strategic moves will see Metso Minerals enhance its presence in the Chinese construction industry, with particular focus on the mobile crushing and screening sector.

First, Metso will come together with LiuGong Group to form a 50-50 joint venture operation to develop the track-mounted crushing and screening business in the country to combine Metso’s technological expertise with LiuGong’s extensive distribution network and manufacturing capabilities in the country. Initially, the joint venture will concentrate on the design and manufacture of models of the Lokotrack 1000 series mobile crushers and screens tailored for the Chinese market, although the range may be expanded in the future, according to a company statement. The resulting machines will be sold under Metso LiuGong joint branding. The JV will also promote Metso’s full range of tracked crushers and screens in the country.

Metso's second Chinese move sees it acquiring a 75% holding in Shaorui Heavy Industries Ltd, one of the leading crushing and screening equipment manufacturers in China, with an option to purchase the remaining shares. This acquisition will give Metso access to the Chinese mid-market and customer base. It also provides a platform for future growth by combining Metso’s current product offering with Shaorui’s product range. The combined technological know-how will be used to enhance the Chinese product offering and also gives Metso an improved product portfolio to allow it to penetrate new markets in Asia and Africa.

According to Andrew Benko, Metso’s president mining and construction: “"China is a very important market for us, and we want to be part of the future development of the fast growing construction market. The joint venture with LiuGong offers us an opportunity to enter the crushing and screening mobile equipment market in China together with a well-known partner. By acquiring 75% of Shaorui, we will gain deeper knowledge about the mid-market customers and products that will benefit us in many ways. In the longer term, both of these investments will naturally grow the installed base of Metso crushers in China providing future service potential."

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