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Thermo Fisher to Expand as China Steps Up Pollution Monitoring

Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc., the biggest maker of life-science equipment by market value, plans to expand in China’s $200 million environmental-monitoring market as the nation enhances efforts to curb pollution.

“We’ll continue to see strong support from China for the quality of our products,” Bob Muscat, vice president of environmental and process monitoring, said today in a phone interview. Demand will move from large to small cities “forcing Thermo Fisher to develop new products as we expand the growth,” he said.

Chinese authorities have sought to ease social unrest after smog in Beijing hit hazardous levels in January. China’s plans to build thousands of air-quality monitoring stations by 2015 is spurring demand for equipment. The company has about 70 percent market share for air-quality products in Chinese cities such as Beijing, Shanghai, Guangdong and Wuhan, he said.

The country may also seek equipment to measure soil and water quality, benefiting Thermo Fisher, Muscat said.

MET One Instruments Inc. from the U.S. and China’s Focused Photonics Hangzhou Inc. and Hebei Sailhero Environmental Protection High-tech Co. are among companies that compete with Thermo Fisher to sell environmental-monitoring systems.

The Waltham, Massachusetts-based company, which opened a manufacturing plant in Suzhou last year and announced a $9.5 million research and development center in China today, saw revenue from the Asian nation grow by more than 20 percent in 2012, Muscat said, without giving specifics.

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