High performance engineered fabrics manufacturer Nextec Applications Inc is to open a new state-of-the-art facility in Singapore.

The hi-tech facility is a key part in a global strategy that includes future plants in Japan and Europe to support worldwide distribution of its patented encapsulation products.

"The majority of our fabrics come from Asia where our customers are using our patented encapsulation process in their material to manufacture their end products," said Peter Ellman, Nextec's president and chief executive officer. "Our Singapore facility will allow us to improve customer service and decrease the time it takes us to deliver our products."

"The textile industry is enormous," Ellman noted. "In 2000, performance textiles in the US was about a $136bn industry. Our new plant will have the initial capacity to produce more than 6.6 million linear yards of fabric per year, dramatically increasing our ability to grow and serve our customers."

"We consider Singapore to be our gateway to Asia and essential to our success. Singapore is highly regarded as a regional business hub, with superb infrastructure and attractive investment incentives," said Ellman.

In April 2001, Nextec closed its fifth round of funding of $14.6m. Investors include the Economic Development Board of Singapore (Government of Singapore), GE Pension Trust, Robertson Stephens Funds, and JP Morgan Partners. The company is projecting revenues of $100m by 2004.

As a global player in the textiles industry, company's such as LL Bean, Sunderland of Scotland, Brooks Phenix and Kappa (Japan); Mammut and Jack Wolfskin (Europe); and MacPac (New Zealand), are all users of Nextec products.

"Building business relationships with US-based companies will open the doors of opportunity for many in Singapore," said Tan Kang Fun, executive director of Nextec's Singapore facility. "Further, Singapore holds Nextec in high regards for its stringent environmental standards and strict regulations to ensure workplace health and safety, all of which are very important to the community."

The Nextec process has countless applications for performance gear and outerwear, medical and protective clothing, industrial composites and electronics. The patented encapsulation process puts the performance features inside the fabrics, dramatically improving water repellency, wind resistance, packability, durability, and extreme breathability.