2012-11-22 / Front Page

AFG USA signs sales, marketing deal with Chinese giant

By KIP BURKE
news editor

AFG President OB Oberoi tells VP Biren Oberoi, Sinoma’s Chen Yousong, Mayor Barnett, and Chairman Moore about the plans AFG USA has for the company’s Washington plant. AFG President OB Oberoi tells VP Biren Oberoi, Sinoma’s Chen Yousong, Mayor Barnett, and Chairman Moore about the plans AFG USA has for the company’s Washington plant.

Washington fiberglass plant AFG USA has signed a sales and marketing agreement with a very large Chinese research and development company to bring high-quality woven fiberglass fabrics to the North American market and beyond.

Washington and Wilkes County leaders including County Commission Chairman Sam Moore and Washington Mayor Ames Barnett gathered last Friday to welcome a sales and marketing collaboration agreement with a Chinese company, Sinoma, a research and development conglomerate, for the North American market. Representing Sinoma were Pan G

uo Qing, Prof. Zhou Yu, Fan Ling Yun, and Chen Yousong of Nanjing, China.

“This new agreement will help both Sinoma and AFG to introduce high-quality filter fabrics to the U.S. market,” said Madanjit “OB” Oberoi, President of AFG, USA. “These filter fabrics, also known as filter media, will be used in many diverse industries including petroch


Celebrating the new agreement between AFG USA and Sinoma were (front, l-r) Madanjit “OB” Oberoi, Professor Zhao Yu, Mayor Ames Barnett, Chairman Sam Moore, (back) W-W Chamber Executive Director Jenny Clarke, Economic Development Director David Jenkins, Chen Yousong, Pan Gui Qing, Fan Ling Yun, Biren Oberoi, and County Administrator David Tyler. Celebrating the new agreement between AFG USA and Sinoma were (front, l-r) Madanjit “OB” Oberoi, Professor Zhao Yu, Mayor Ames Barnett, Chairman Sam Moore, (back) W-W Chamber Executive Director Jenny Clarke, Economic Development Director David Jenkins, Chen Yousong, Pan Gui Qing, Fan Ling Yun, Biren Oberoi, and County Administrator David Tyler.

emical refineries, power plants, cement plants, and in any industrial dust-control and contaminant-control applications.”

Through this agreement, he said, AFG and Sinoma will combine each other’s synergies. “This will combine Sinoma’s years of R&D experience, vertical integration, and supply chain security with AFG’s global sales, marketing, and product development abilities to co-develop customized fiberglass solutions for the North American filtration market.”

The history between AFG and Sinoma goes back for years, AFG Executive Vice President Biren Oberoi said. “Sinoma’s early research in fiberglass was conducted at OB’s plant in India in 1984, but we didn’t realize it until recently. When we signed the agreement, it was 30 years of history coming around full circle. So we feel this will be good for AFG, for Sinoma, and for Washington-Wilkes.”

Sinoma employs 300,000 people in China with $10 billion in annual sales. It produces 87 million tons of cement annually, OB Oberoi said. “When you make cement, you make pollution, so you need fiberglass bag houses to trap that pollution, and now they can make filters that trap as small as three microns in diameter. This is important, because industry can go up and industry can go down, but pollution controls will always go up.”

The joint venture agreement signed between AFG and Sinoma gives AFG exclusive marketing rights in the U.S., Canada, Mexico, Brazil, and India, and will take sales to $40 million, with a $2 million order going in this week, OB said, with more expected next year.

“We want to establish a good relationship with you here,” Sinoma Senior Engineer Chen Yousong said, “and we are very happy for this business. We think we have very good quality and Mr. OB shares this opinion. Right now we are very happy we can join together in an exclusive agency with Mr. OB, who is a very good man to work with in fiberglass, and we hope the local people will join with us for this.”

Washington Mayor Ames Barnett welcomed the Chinese delegation. “As I said to Mr. OB before, you have changed lives and brought jobs to people who otherwise wouldn’t have jobs, and we thank you for your dedication to Washington-Wilkes. We’re here to stand behind you and assist you in whatever way we can to help make you successful. When you’re successful, we’re successful. Thank you.”

“It’s been a pleasure working with OB through the years,” Wilkes County Commission Chairman Sam Moore said. “We’ve got a good workforce and we’re looking forward to growth with you for years to come.”

Alpharetta-based AFG USA is 18 years old and has operated at the former Standard-Coosa-Thatcher/SCT Yarns plant on Highway 47 in Washington Wilkes for nearly four years. Although the agreement would not immediately result in more Wilkes County jobs beyond the 29 people now employed by AFG here, Biren Oberoi said, the growth in revenue should help with the company’s local expansion planned for next year.


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