DALLAS - Occidental Chemical Corp. and Sumitomo Bakelite Co. Ltd. will team up for two 50/50 joint ventures to supply phenolic molding compound markets in North America and Southeast Asia. The first project - a new production plant adjacent to Occi-dental's Durez Division facility at Fort Erie, Ontario - is scheduled for completion in mid-1997. Occidental spokesman Kenneth Haseley said the plant primarily will serve automotive component manufacturers, including Japa-nese firms that are relocating manufacturing plants to North America.
Automakers find that phenolic molding compound allows for high-strength, low-cost, low-weight alternatives for metal parts such as motor housings and accessory drive pulleys, he said.
The second project involves an expansion at the SumiDurez Singapore Pte. Ltd. plant in Singapore. Work there also is scheduled to be completed in mid-1997.
The market for the expansion primarily will be the electronics industry.
Japanese manufacturers of electronic components used in audio and video equipment are moving more of their fabrication plants to Singapore and other Far East sites to be closer to new and growing markets, according to Haseley.
Dallas-based Occidental would not discuss the investment or specifics about production capacity.
In April 1995, Occidental's Durez Division closed a phenolic molding compound production facility in North Tonawanda, N.Y. The plant, built in the 1920s, was too old and used outdated technology, Haseley said.