Solvay Specialty Polymers and Rhodia to expand in Asia with significant investments in China

Solvay Specialty Polymers and Rhodia Engineering Plastics are strongly committed to expand in Asia and are specifically focusing significant investments in China as a platform for growth in the region. The separate Solvay Specialty Polymers and Rhodia Engineering Plastics research and development facilities in Shanghai will be combined into one world-class R&D Center at Rhodia’s campus in the Xinzhuang industrial zone. A new four million euro building will be added to the existing Rhodia research center with two full floors dedicated to polymer formulation and processing and includes an injection molding facility for customer trials. This facility will boost our capabilities in the injection molding process and thereby improve our products and service offer to customers. The merged R&D campus will also include several state-of-the-art fully equipped laboratories focusing on chemical formulation, mechanical measurements, ageing and flame retardancy and, importantly, a plastic parts simulation and design capabilities which radically and cost effectively helps to shorten time-to-market product development. A new 21 mln euro compounding plant will come on-stream at Changshu site in summer 2012, months ahead of schedule. It will serve the fast growing markets in China for electrical & electronics, wire & cable, automotive, consumer and industrial applications. The facility will be fully adaptable for future expansion for both overall capacity and for other high performance engineering and fluorinated polymers. Solvay is building a new 120 mln euro production plant for fluorinated polymers at the company’s industrial site in Changshu (Jiangsu province) and is scheduled to be operational early 2014. It will significantly boost Solvay's global production capacity and meet the growing demand for these high value-added specialty polymers in Asia for end use markets such as automotive, photovoltaic (PV), Li-Ion batteries, membranes for water purification and oil & gas applications. “Our strategically located manufacturing facilities of high-class products for end use markets such as photovoltaic and lithium batteries ensure China’s OEMs meet the rapidly growing domestic and regional needs and contribute to wider global demands,” comments Maurizio Gastaldi, Head of Asia Growth & Development, Solvay Specialty Polymers.
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