Arkema recently inaugurated two new plants for fluorinated polymers and rheology additives on the Changshu industrial platform in China. At the same time, Arkema also laid the foundation stone of its future research and development center in China, marking the group's second such center in Asia.
Arkema said its growth objectives in Asia include achieving 25 percent of its sales their by 2015, half of which will come from China.
Located 120 km south of Shanghai, the Changshu industrial platform is now Arkema's largest manufacturing site in the world. It represents Arkema's main industrial base in China, with productions in many specialty chemicals including fluorogases, fluorinated polymers, specialty polyamides, acrylic derivatives, organic peroxides, among others.
The new plant dedicated to the production of fluorinated polymers under the Kynar brand name was started in Changshu in the spring of this year. Arkema said it helps them partner the development of their customers in Asia, and fulfill more effectively the fast-growing demand in the paint, offshore and chemical engineering markets, as well as in emerging applications such as batteries, photovoltaics and water treatment.
Arkema is already planning to increase by 50 percent this new plant's capacity by the summer of 2012.
With the startup in early August of the rheology additives plant, Coatex, an Arkema subsidiary, now has production capacities for the paint and coating, cement, paper and mineral processing markets in Asia.
The future Changshu research and development center will offer both a geographic and a technical fit with the group's other research centers, in particular the Kyoto center in Japan. It will help boost the development or adaptation of products and solutions provided by Arkema to its customers in China and South-East Asia in the fast-growing markets of new energies, cable, electronics, automotive and sports.