Chemicals giant Solvay SA opened a fluoroelastomers plant in Changshu, China, on Nov. 10.
The plant, which makes Solvay Specialty Polymers' Tecnoflon-brand materials, is the company's third global manufacturing unit. The plant is on the same site as Solvay Specialty Polymers' existing operation in Jiangsu province.
“We are really happy to see this state-of-art facility's successful operation now. It is an integrated part of Solvay's ongoing strategic expansion in the region, and by providing our high quality products for Asia's fast-growing markets, we can meet the various demands for specialty polymers from the automotive and other high-end applications, such as wearable devices,” said Luke C. Du, Asia managing director at Solvay Specialty Polymers, in an email interview with Plastics News China.
“It will also support our customers to localize their business successfully and enhance their competitive advantages in each market segment.”
Du said the Asia Pacific is the unit's best performing region.
“Against the global economic recession, Solvay Specialty Polymers has maintained a steady and rapid growth in the world over the recent years. Asia Pacific represents 36 percent of our global sales and over 20 percent of our global workforce,” he said.
China is an important piece of the Asia Pacific region, he said. “China is not only the hub from where we lead the development of the Asia Pacific region, but also the cornerstone of our global business development. Asia Pacific region has now become the largest revenue contributor for Solvay Specialty Polymers, among which China tops as a key market player making continuous investment in the past few years.”
Solvay Specialty Polymers plans to invest more in the Changshu site. Construction is ongoing at a factory, which will produce Solef-brand polyvinylidene fluoride. That factory will begin production in early 2017. Total combined project investment for the two plants is 142 million euros. In addition to fluoroelastomers, Solvay's operations at Changshu include compounding of products based on its specialty resins.
Solvay Specialty Polymers is a unit of Brussels-based specialty chemicals firm Solvay SA. In 2014, Solvay SA posted sales of 10.2 billion euros ($11.6 billion). The firm employs 26,000 worldwide.