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September 19, 2009

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Clariant opens new plant in Jiangsu

SWISS specialty chemical company Clariant AG opened one plant and broke ground on a second one this week in China as part of a US$100 million investment program.

"Although only approximately 4 percent of Clariant's global sales currently come from China, we look upon China as our most important future market and we are committed to further expanding our presence in China," Chief Executive Hariolf Kottmann said on Thursday.

He was in the Jiangsu Province city of Zhenjiang to preside over the opening of a surfactants plant that will make products for industries ranging from personal care to coatings and metalworks.

Earlier in the week, Clariant began construction on an ethoxylation plant in Daya Bay in Guangdong Province. The facility, to be operational by early 2011, will serve customers in industries such as crop protection, construction, textiles and paper.

Clariant said it has signed a long-term supply contract for the Daya Bay plant to supply ethylene oxide, used to make industrial chemicals, to a nearby venture owned by CNOOC and Shell Petrochemicals Co. Clariant didn't disclose the value of the contract.

Clariant, which is globally cutting jobs and suffering declining sales amid recession in developed countries, is shifting production from Europe and North America to China.

"Clariant's operations in China have grown substantially in recent years, with high double-digit growth in some key segments such as personal care," Kottmann said.


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