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Industry Companies Beat Path to Asia

Friday, April 1, 2011

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The Pacific region is pulling anew on the coatings industry, with a half-dozen companies recently announcing hundreds of millions of dollars in construction and expansion investment in Asia.

The influx includes:

  • A new $52 million Jotun production facility—the region’s largest, the company says—in Malaysia, followed by a $33 million, 10-year regional expansion;
  • An upcoming $92 million Bayer MaterialScience coatings raw materials factory in Shanghai, China;
  • A new coatings application laboratory by Coatex and Arkema Emulsion Systems in Changshu, China, to be followed by expanded additives and latex production at the site;
  • A $10 million expansion of Huntsman’s polyurethane production capability in India; and
  • A new Shanghai service and showroom office for Jet Edge Inc.

Here is what’s underway.

Arkema, Coatex: Triple Expansion

Coatex and Arkema Emulsion Systems’ new China operation is designed to provide technical support to coatings customers in the region. In addition, Coatex plans to open a water-based rheology modifier plant on the site in the coming months, while Arkema will expand its latex production lines there in 2012.

Both businesses are part of the Paris-based Arkema group, France’s leading chemicals producer. Arkema Emulsion Systems focuses on latex binders; Coatex, on water-based rheology additives.

Company officials said the new facility reflects the companies’ lasting commitment to the Asia Pacific market.

‘A Pivotal Year’

Arkema has been expanding on multiple fronts worldwide in recent years. It acquired Coatex in 2007 and, in 2010, bought both Dow Chemical’s waterborne resins assets and Total’s coatings resins and photocure resins business.

“2011 will be a pivotal year for Arkema,” says chairman and CEO Thierry Le Hénaff.

“We will become one of the major suppliers to this market, thanks to one of the most comprehensive international product and technology offerings. We will then be in a position to fulfill the specific technological requirements of our customers, wherever they are based in the world.”


 Arkema Group

 Arkema’s production complex in Changsu, China, will be expanded twice in the near future.

Bayer MaterialScience: Shanghai Surge

Bayer MaterialScience, one of the world’s largest polymer companies, has announced plans to build a $91.9 million “world-scale production facility” for the coating raw material isophorone diisocyanate (IPDI) at BMS’s integrated site in Shanghai. IPDI is used as a raw material primarily in high-grade polyurethane coatings.

The plant, set to open in 2015, is part of BMS’s overall plan to invest $1.4 billion to expand production capacities in China, bringing the company’s overall stake in the region to more than $4.2 billion.

Huntsman: Mumbai Makeover

Huntsman Corp.’s Polyurethanes division will expand its production capabilities in India with a new $10 million systems house next year in Pune, near Mumbai.

The facility, scheduled to open on an eight-acre site by the end of the first quarter of 2012, will replace Huntsman’s system house in nearby Thane and allow for future growth across the subcontinent, the global chemical manufacturer says.

Indian demand is increasing for Huntsman’s methylene diphenyl diisocyanate (MDI) products for use in the infrastructure, construction and automotive industries, the Belgium-based company reports.

“India is the world’s second-fastest-growing economy,” said Huntsman Polyurethanes vice president Nick Webster. “With an expanding middle class, increased urbanization and significant infrastructure development projects underway, we are predicting a large spike in demand for MDI across the region.”

Jet Edge: New China Market

Minnesota-based Jet Edge Inc., manufacturer of ultra-high pressure industrial water jet systems for precision cutting, coating removal and surface preparation, has opened a sales, service and showroom office in Shanghai, China.

“We are very excited to begin offering direct sales and support of Jet Edge water jet technology to China’s rapidly modernizing manufacturing companies,” said Jet Edge president Jude Lague.

“We are committed to continually growing our business presence in China, and having a direct presence in Shanghai is an essential first step in demonstrating our commitment to our valued China-based customers.”

 Haihong (Samuel) Song is Jet Edge's new area manager for Shanghai, China, responsible for developing Jet Edge's business presence in the region. Song, a graduate of the Shanghai Institute of Electric Power, is fluent in English and German as second languages.

Jotun: Malaysian Construction

Jotun’s new 1 million-square-foot production facility, which opened March 30 in Nilai, is the largest of its kind in the region, the company said.

Jotun also plans to invest about $33 million over the next 10 years “as part of its expansion drive“ in Asia Pacific, the company said in a statement.

The Nilai plant includes its own colorant manufacturing facility, Jotun’s first outside its home country of Norway, and will become “the worldwide hub for unique antifouling paints,” Jotun said. The plant will also supply protective and marine coatings to Singapore.

In September, the company opened a new sales, service, logistics and training center in Tuas, Singapore.

 Jotun opened its new 1-million-square-foot plant in Malaysia on Wednesday.

Jotun said its facility in Shah Alam, Selangor, would focus on producing waterborne decorative paints to serve the Malaysian and Singapore markets.


Tagged categories: Antifoulants; Arkema Inc.; Bayer MaterialScience; Huntsman; Jet Edge; Jotun; Polyurethane

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