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Kuraray America breaks ground on polyvinyl alcohol plant

By: Frank Esposito

April 11, 2013

HOUSTON — Kuraray America Inc. broke ground April 11 on a new polyvinyl alcohol plant in La Porte, Texas.

The plant is expected to create 107 new jobs over the next two years and will have annual production capacity of almost 90 million pounds. Production is set to launch in 2015.

In an April 9 news release, officials with Houston-based Kuraray said that the firm's strategy for growth within the Houston area is because of developments in natural gas exploration technology, specifically shale gas and "the excellence of area infrastructure and [the area's] ideal workforce."

"Kuraray felt this was an ideal place to establish a beachhead for further expansions," Kuraray Americas president and CEO George Avdey said in the release.

The Texas Enterprise Fund is supplying some funding for the new plant. Kuraray also is receiving a tax abatement from Harris County for the project.

Kuraray America is a unit of Tokyo-based industrial conglomerate Kuraray Group. The parent firm's Septon Co. of America unit also makes styrenic block copolymers at a plant in Pasadena, Texas.