As the demand for resin-coated and ceramic proppant continues to be amplified by the large resource plays, the Company expects more entrants into the market for its products. One of the Company’s largest worldwide proppant competitors is Saint-Gobain Proppants (“Saint-Gobain”). Saint-Gobain is a division of Compagnie de Saint-Gobain, a large French glass and materials company. Saint-Gobain manufactures a variety of ceramic proppants that it markets in competition with each of the Company’s products. Saint-Gobain’s primary manufacturing facility is located in Fort Smith, Arkansas. Saint-Gobain also manufactures ceramic proppant in China and Venezuela. Mineracao Curimbaba (“Curimbaba”), based in Brazil, is also a large competitor and manufactures ceramic proppants that it markets in competition with some of the Company’s products.
There are two major manufacturers of ceramic proppant in Russia. Borovichi Refractory Plant (“Borovichi”) located in Borovichi, Russia, and FORES Refractory Plant (“FORES”) located in Ekaterinburg, Russia. Although the Company has limited information about Borovichi and FORES, the Company believes that Borovichi primarily manufactures intermediate strength ceramic proppants and markets its products principally within Russia, and that FORES manufactures intermediate strength and lightweight ceramic proppant lines and markets its products both inside and outside of Russia. The Company further believes that these companies have added manufacturing capacity in recent years and now provide a majority of the ceramic proppant used in Russia. The Company is also aware of an increasing number of manufacturers in China. Most of these companies produce intermediate strength ceramic proppants that are marketed both inside and outside of China. Chinese proppant imports into the United States increased in 2011 as domestic demand also increased.