New plant key to Clariant's plan


SWISS specialty chemicals maker Clariant yesterday opened a new plant in China whose products will serve a range of industries such as agriculture and personal care.

The new US$51 million ethoxylation plant in Daya Bay in south Guangdong Province, the company's first in Asia, has an initial capacity of 50,000 tons a year. It will enhance regional offering for industries as diverse as crop protection, construction, personal care, and industrial and home care.

"Expanding Clariant's business in emerging markets is key to our overall growth strategy," Per Sjoeberg, head of Clariant China, told Shanghai Daily yesterday. "(In China) the underlying economic growth is still very strong, the market is developing well," Sjoeberg said.

China accounted for about 6 percent of Clariant's global sales of 7.1 billion Swiss francs in 2010, Sjoeberg said.

The company has invested 200 million Swiss francs (US$229 million) in China over the past five years.

Daya Bay located on the Pearl River Delta is one of China's key petrochemical manufacturing hubs. The new plant is sited beside a joint venture of China National Offshore Oil Corp and Shell, which supplies raw materials to Clariant. The location also enables it to tap the close proximity to logistics centers in Guangzhou, Shenzhen and Hong Kong.

"China is already winning industry market share in hi-tech intensive industries," auditing firm KPMG disclosed in a September report.


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