A final decision by Cabot Plastics International and its China-based partner to build a masterbatch manufacturing line in China for its internal market is anticipated ``within a few months,'' according to a Jan. 31 announcement by the parent company, Boston-based Cabot Corp. In the meantime, Cabot Plastics International and partner Shang-hai Pacific Chemical Corp. Coking & Chemical Plant General, headquartered in the Wujing industrial area of China, have formed a joint venture in Shanghai to study the plan's feasibility.
Ken Burns, president of Cabot Corp., noted, ``We've been trying to develop distribution plans for the masterbatch plant in China for the past two years.''
The two companies have had a joint venture in Shanghai to produce rubber-grade carbon black for eight years.
The feasibility study, which Cabot said will start immediately, initially will produce 5,000 tons of black masterbatches per year in Shanghai for sale within China and abroad.
According to Dirk L. Blevi, vice president and general manage of Cabot Plastics International, end-use products from the venture will range from technical compounds to plastic film.
The establishment of a joint venture in Shanghai ``is consistent with both companies' existing plans to expand their capacity in response to the rapid market growth in the region and in the People's Republic of China,'' Blevi said.
Cabot Plastics International, based in Leuven, Belgium, has European manufacturing plants in Grigno, Italy; Dukinfield, England; and Pepinster and Loncin, Bel-gium.
Also, a Hong Kong facility produces black and white masterbatches for markets in the Asia-Pacific region, according to the company.
Cabot Corp., a specialty energy and chemical company with 26 carbon black plants worldwide, reported sales of about $1.8 billion in 1995.