22 April 2002 00:00 [Source: ICB Americas]Eastman Chemical Ltd. and Sinopec Qilu Petrochemical Company have signed an agreement to form a joint venture, Zibo Qilu Eastman Specialty Ltd., to produce Texanol ester alcohol and TXIB plasticizer in China. The world-scale oxo derivatives plant will be built at Sinopec Qilu's site in Zibo, Shandong Province, 400 kilometers southeast of Beijing. Construction of the $30 million facility is expected to begin in 2003 and be completed by the end of 2004.
Damon Warmack, Eastman's vice president and managing director for the Asia-Pacific region, calls the joint venture "a strategic step" for maintaining the company's commitment to Asia, especially greater China.
He adds that Eastman's investment will strengthen China's specialty chemicals industry, which is expected to grow rapidly as the nation enters the World Trade Organization. "China will continue to be the fastest-growing market in the world," he says. "The synergy established with Sinopec Qilu via this joint venture will provide long-term business growth opportunities."
Eastman and Sinopec Qilu have worked together since 1999 and "look forward to establishing further synergies in the downstream development of the petrochemical industry," according to Liu Genyuan, vice president of China Petrochemical Corp. (Sinopec Group).
The joint venture is Eastman's second major project in China in the specialty chemicals market. It follows the establishment of Nanjing Yangtzi Eastman Chemical Ltd., a 50-50 joint venture with Yangzi Petrochemical Industrial Corp. to manufacture Eastotac hydrocarbon tackifying resin for adhesives. The Eastman-Sinopec Qilu joint venture will enhance Eastman's global capacity for Texanol ester alcohol and TXIB plasticizer.
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