By Liz White, ERJ staffSingapore-Ciba Specialty Chemicals held a groundbreaking ceremony 8 March 2006 for construction for its new antioxidant plant on Singapore's Jurong Island. Swiss group Ciba is investing CHF 125 million ($95.4 million) in the facility and said this "signifies company's commitment to strengthen its presence and growth in Asia." The plant will increase Ciba's supply of antioxidants to the fast growing polymer industry in Asia and the Middle East, a statement from Ciba added. The company said it recognises Asia as a key market, accounting for 29 percent of its sales in 2005."This investment reflects a strategic decision and our commitment to a region where we can establish long term growth. … this will sharpen Ciba Specialty Chemicals' capability to provide market-oriented solutions so as to achieve profitable growth and sustained competitiveness," said Brendan Cummins, coo of Ciba Specialty Chemicals, in the company statement. Start up is expected in early 2008, with an overall initial capacity of 30 kilotonnes. The plant will employ around 65 people, making granular forms of antioxidants and blends for use in rubber and plastics. The plant will meet the rapidly rising demand for antioxidants in the fast growing polymer industry in Asia and the Middle East. Global plastic demand is forecasted to be positive and growing steadily above GDP level, with Asia and the Middle East driving production expansion.No details of what products the plant will make were given. Ciba's Irganox range includes hindered phenolic anti-scorch additives for polyurethane foams, and the firm makes a wide range of additives for general use in rubber and plastics. Pic: An impression of what Ciba Specialty Chemicals' new antioxidant plant wil look like when it is ready in early 2008. "