Megaman has moved into a spanking new £81 million factory in China after sales of LED lamps boomed. Pennie Varvarides reports from Xiamen

In house testing is done on the LEDs and CFLs produced

Chinese lamp maker Megaman has relocated to a massive £81 million factory to cope with demand after a staggering 400 per cent growth in LED lamp sales, coupled with organic growth of 11 per cent.

Six years in the making, the 120-hectare facility will house 4,200 workers at its peak. The plant produces compact fluorescents and LEDs for clients such as Walmart, B&Q and Homebase.

It’s part of a plan by Megaman to counter falling demand for its CFLs – down 1 per cent this year – and take advantage of booming LED sales, especially in its heartland Asian markets. The company is a relatively latecomer to the LED market – but it’s been making up for it with well-received LED versions of traditional lamps such as the AR111.

Production started at Zhangzhou City in October 2007 and all work is currently being transferred to the site. The plant currently employs 920 workers and the company has plans to build dormitories, swimming pools and libraries.

Megaman's new factory is surrounded by mountainous countryside

Sustainability first

Aware of the reputation of Chinese manufacturing, Megaman is keen to promote its green credentials.

It has just published its first sustainability report, which shows that the average mercury use per lamp has been cut to 1.63mg, 67 per cent below the RoHS Regulations limit of 5mg.

This figure was 2.28mg in 2007. The cut in mercury is the result of the introduction of Megaman’s amalgam technology – in which an alloy of mercury is used in manufacturing compact fluorescent lamps, minimising pollution. As part of the company’s green pledge, 50kg of mercury has been recovered from its recycling plant between 2007 and 2010 for reuse.

Mercury use slashed

The reduction in mercury use means the lamps are also less sensitive to changes in temperature, increasing efficacy.

Other highlights of the sustainability report include a reduction in employee accidents of 66 per cent between 2007 and 2010 and total corporate donations of £4.98 million, of which 78 per cent went towards education.

Megaman said it had not been greatly affected by the current economic climate. A spokesman said: ‘We believe that our focus on environmental and socially responsible approaches to our business may have shielded us somewhat from the potential hardships.’

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