By Liz White, UT staffLehigh Valley, Pennsylvania-Chemicals major Air Products announced 26 May that is forming a joint venture in China to expand production of triethylenediamine (TEDA) for the fast-growing Chinese polyurethane sector. The venture, Air Products Shanfeng, with leading Chinese chemicals supplier Changzhou Shangfeng Chemical Industry Co. Ltd (CZSF), will be majority owned and managed by Air Products. The unit's headquarters will be at its production site in Changzhou, Jiangsu Province, Eastern China, which has been transferred to the joint venture company from CZSF. "This investment is part of Air Products' continuing strategy to build long-term infrastructure in China and to support the growth of its TEDA business by strengthening its China-based capabilities," said an Air Products release. "Our customers are producing increasingly sophisticated products and are continually looking for supply of higher quality products and value-added solutions to help them succeed," added Jeff Kramer, vice president and general manager, Chemicals Group, Air Products Asia. Air Products said it will put manufacturing and process technology into the Changzhou facility to meet quality, production and environmental, health and safety standards.TEDA is an important catalyst in polyurethane foam production, with growth here is driven by "population and income demographics," for major uses or furniture, carpet underlay, automotive seating and shoe soles, said the firm. In China, the PU market has grown at more than 10 percent annually with high growth predicted to continue as it becomes a global manufacturing centre, said Air Products.Combining CZSF's plant, market knowledge and reputation in China with Air Products' technology and application development laboratories will put the new venture in a good position, the firm said. Air Products claims to be a leading supplier of TEDA to the PU market, from a US site in Paulsboro, New Jersey, and downstream modification capacity in Europe. "