29 July 1996 00:00 [Source: ACN]
KEMIRA Pigments and Ishihara Sangyo Kaisha (ISK) have stopped discussions for their proposed joint-venture 75 000 tonne/year titanium dioxide facility in Singapore.
However, ISK will implement the project even if it cannot find a replacement partner, an ISK official told ACN. The company has still to look into potential partnerships, he said.
The official statement from the two parties said: 'Final agreements for the project were expected to be signed by the end of June. The parties were, however, unable to reach final agreement on some of the crucial points of the joint venture.'
The breakdown in discussions can be partly attributed to the fact that the two partners would be competing in the same market, a Kemira official told ACN.
The Finnish major does not have a manufacturing presence in Asia. It is still too early to say if there will be one, he said. On the company's plans in Asia, he said: 'The Asian market is very important but one cannot say how it will be done in the future.'
Under the initial plan, Kemira was to have been the minority shareholder, with a 30% share, and ISK the majority shareholder, with a 70% share. Product offtake was to have been in the same ratio.
ISK operates a 50 000 tonne/year chloride-route TiO2 facility in Singapore. The Japanese major is also planning a third facility in Asia (ACN 20 May, p53).
However, its present focus will be on getting the Singaporean venture off the ground, the ISK official said.
Kemira is investing FM500m (US$107m) to increase its worldwide TiO2 capacity by 40 000 tonne/year to a total of 320 000 tonne/year.
The additional capacity is under construction and is expected onstream in 1998. Capacity will be increased by 30 000 tonne/year in Finland, and 10 000 tonne/year in the Netherlands. The company also has a manufacturing facility in the US.
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