21 February 2012 16:41 [Source: ICIS news]
HOUSTON (ICIS)--Chinese competitors in the titanium dioxide (TiO2) industry are finding it hard to build a chloride-process TiO2 facility, as underlined by recent allegations of intellectual property theft, the CEO of US-based producer Tronox said on Tuesday.
Tronox CEO Tom Casey said that many attempts to build a chloride-process TiO2 plant in ?xml:namespace>
Recent reports about an alleged theft of DuPont TiO2 intellectual property involving a Chinese firm showed China's great interest in a chloride-process TiO2 plant, but it also underlined the degree to which Chinese firms lacked confidence in their ability to build such a plant on their own, Casey said.
“There have been a number of Chinese firms over the last years that have tried to build a chloride-process plant in
“The fact that people haven’t build one means that they can’t, not that they don’t want to,” Casey said. The last new chloride-process TiO2 plant was built in 1994, he added.
Casey said the chloride-route to TiO2 was a clearly superior process compared with the alternative sulphate-based processes.
ICIS reported last week that a former DuPont engineer would plead not guilty to allegations that he helped steal his former employer's chloride-route TiO2 technology.
The employee allegedly provided the technology to a businessman who then provided it to a Chinese state-controlled company to be used at a 100,000 tonne/year TiO2 plant in
Casey added that he could not comment on the specific merits of that case as he does not know the details.
Additional reporting by Al Greenwood
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