Ashland Specialty Ingredients, a commercial unit of Ashland Inc., announced that it would expand capacity at its Natrosol™ hydroxyethylcellulose (HEC) production facility in Nanjing by 4,000 metric tons, or approximately 40 percent, over the next 18 months.
The four-year-old facility, which employs more than one hundred workers, is located within the Nanjing Chemical Industrial Park, a modern, highly integrated chemical manufacturing complex. Natrosol is a cellulosic polymer used as an additive in a wide variety of industrial and consumer products, including latex paints, paper coatings and personal care items such as shampoos and shower gels.
The additional capacity will come on line in two phases. The first 2,000 metric tons will be available in early 2015 to support the spring paint season, and the second 2,000 metric tons will be available in late 2015.
“By expanding our production capacity for HEC, we will be positioned to meet increasing demand from our customers and support them in contributing to a sustainable development,” said William Zhao, business head, Ashland Specialty Ingredients, Greater China region. “It also underlines our confidence in the fast-growing industrial and consumer markets in China and the Asia Pacific region.”
Added Ed Connors, group vice president, Industrial Specialties, Ashland Specialty Ingredients: “This major investment demonstrates Ashland’s ongoing commitment to the strategic HEC business and solidifies Ashland’s strong leadership position. We believe this investment will allow us to continue to serve the growing needs of our customers. With HEC assets in the United States, Europe and Asia, Ashland remains the only company with this unique capability.”