Nanjing, China-Speciality chemicals maker Albemarle Corp. opened a new technical centre in Nanjing on 17 March. The site may also become a development centre for new polyurethane foam flame retardants, Albemarle indicated, in a statement on the new facility.At the same time, the company also broke ground on a plant to make phosphorus flame retardants at Nanjing-which it says is its first wholly owned site in China.
Albemarle said its new centre houses testing laboratories for polymers and flammability and administrative offices for the group's Asia-Pacific customer technical service team. The latter currently assists users of Albemarle's flame retardants for polyurethane foams and thermoplastic polymers, and users of its polyolefin antioxidants.
"The centre provides the region a much-needed technical presence to help market our leading fire safety and other chemistry solutions to polymer formulators relocating to the Asia-Pacific region, and a growing number of local formulators here in China," said Joe Tedder, Albemarle's Nanjing site director, in the company's announcement.
Nanjing houses the Nanjing Chemical Industry Park (NCIP), a major China's chemicals complex, as well as 38 colleges and universities offering science and engineering studies, "Nanjing is considered the heart of the chemicals industry in China," said Albemarle.
"Opening the Technical Center in Nanjing provides an opportunity to benefit from outstanding Chinese chemical research capabilities and a vast pool of chemical industry talent," Tedder said. " …when we start up our manufacturing facility here, we will be that much closer to the source of some key raw materials for the products," he added.
Albemarle began construction on its 16.5-acre (67 000-sq.m) site at the NCIP in December 2005. The flame retardant plant is scheduled for completion in the fourth quarter of 2007. (EPW)"