By Robert Grace, Plastics News
Guangzhou, China — Chemtura Corp. executives provided an update on the firm’s latest investments, expansions and products at Chinaplas, to include the start-up of commercial production at an Arkansas plant of one of its newer flame retardants, Emerald Innovation 3000.
The publicly traded, Philadelphia-based company also expects to close soon on its deal to buy the bromine assets of India’s Solaris ChemTech Industries Ltd, and said the first products should roll out of its new $95 million, multipurpose manufacturing plant in Nantong, China, by the end of 2013’s third quarter.
Chemtura, which employs 4000 and had 2012 sales of $2.6 billion, is focused on growing in the world’s fastest-growing regions. Asia Pacific is already the company’s leading region, accounting for 18 percent of group revenue, Cross said, but by 2018, it aims for the region to account for 33 percent of sales. That is one reason the firm has spent the past decade investing in China.
It registered its regional headquarters in Shanghai in 2000; opened its first China plant (in Nanjing) in 2004; registered its Nanjing application development center in 2010; broke ground on the above-mentioned plant in Nantong last year; and established a shared services center in Shanghai earlier this year.
The big Nantong plant in Jiangsu province is a three-year project and, at $95 million, represents the single largest investment by Chemtura since its formation in 2005. Cross said the plant’s first phase is “mechanically complete” and commissioning is beginning now for the anchor line of petroleum additives, plus some polyurethane plastomers.
The project’s second phase will produce more plastics-relevant products, Cross said, including organometallics and some thermoplastic polyurethane materials. The aim is for the plant to be fully operational by August 2015.