A Finland-based manufacturer of windscreen-making machinery in investigating a R90-million joint venture investment in an export-oriented plant in East London.

A Finland-based manufacturer of windscreen-making machinery in investigating a R90-million joint venture investment in an export-oriented plant in East London.

Glassrobots sales manager Pekka Nieminen, who is part of a Finnish trade delegation to SA and Namibia, told at the weekend that his company wanted to invest in a windscreen factory which SA firm Fridge Glass plans to build in the industrial development zone in East London.

A decision on the Finnish investment is expected around September, but even without its involvement, the plant, which will supply DaimlerChrysler's automotive assembly line, will be built.

"But the SA market is not big enough, so export is the key," Nieminen was quoted as saying.

The plant was expected to produce between 300 000 and 500 000 windscreens a year, and South Africa was reportedly chosen by Glassrobots because of the large number of vehicle manufacturers, and because of the growth of the sector.