On Saturday 19 March 2016 at 10.30 hours, a delegation of Chinese dignitaries turned the first sod for the construction of the new head offices of the Airblast Group at the Boekelermeer business park in Alkmaar. Under the watchful eye of deputy mayor of the Municipality of Alkmaar, Jan Nagengast, Ms Yin Yanling (deputy mayor of Zouping County), Wang Ruiguo (general manager of Airblast’s parent company Shandong KaiTai), Francis Chua (managing director of the Airblast Group) and Cees Bekink (vice chairman of the KT-Airblast holding company) completed the official sod turning ceremony.
The new head offices and warehouse for Airblast BV and Airblast-Abrasives BV are set to be built at the Boekelermeer business park. In the following phase, a production hall will also be built at the same location. The intention is to occupy a site of 11,000 m2 with the expectation that within three years the current number of staff will be doubled to 50, to handle the planned expansion in the volume of work. A budget of between 6 and 8 million euro has been set aside for the new building investment.
The expansion at Boekelermeer is essential to roll out the Airblast Group’s new strategy, involving the production launch for high-quality sector-related devices, also due to be sold in China. The locations in Alkmaar will serve as central distribution point for the worldwide divisions.
Cees Bekink of the Board of Directors of AB-Techno Holding (holding company of Airblast B.V) explained, “This area was voted the best business park in the Netherlands, and we are delighted to be making use of these facilities, ideally located alongside Noord-Holland’s major lifeline, the A9 motorway. Within 30 minutes you can reach both the beating heart of the offshore industry in northern Noord-Holland, and the capital city of the Netherlands, with its excellent logistic road, water, rail and air links.”
The head office of the Airblast Group (ABV), a worldwide-operating organisation, will be based in Alkmaar. Cees Bekink founded Airblast BV in 1974, and sold the business to the Chinese Shandong KaiTai Group Ltd in 2012. This led to rapid growth following a series of acquisitions. The company for example purchased businesses in Australia, and acquired the Amersfoort-based Sybrandy BV, a company specialising in the production of spraying and grit blasting booths. Airblast-Abrasives BV, a company focusing exclusively on the sale of the blast grit produced by KaiTai, was then established at the end of 2014.
Deputy mayor of Alkmaar Jan Nagengast is delighted with the arrival of the Chinese mega business. “Airblast Group is a growing player on the market that needs space to achieve further growth in physical terms and in terms of business climate. Both are available at the Boekelermeer business park, the number one business park in the Netherlands. Boekelermeer is currently the scene of a series of positive developments. The energy innovation park is due to be built here, as is a new junction with the A9 motorway. Airblast is part of that development, and as such a real asset for the business park.” ABV currently has 30 branches worldwide including 20 in China, 3 in Australia and others in Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the Netherlands.
Thijs Pennink of development agency Noord-Holland Noord was enthusiastic about the relocation. “A survey by fDi Magazine revealed just how interesting our region is for investments. The arrival and expansion of this international business underlines that fact. As a partner to the national Invest in Holland network, we are hard at work every day maintaining ties with businesses of this kind, and it is thanks to those efforts that we are able to mark up successes like these.”