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November 24, 2009

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Evonik taps fast-growing market

GERMANY'S Evonik Industries will launch its 250 million euro (US$374 million) chemical plant in Shanghai today -- its biggest investment project in China and the second-largest globally in the chemical business.

"We will continue to focus on China, the largest and fastest growing market in the world," said Patrik Wohlhauser, chairman of the board of Evonik Degussa GmbH, yesterday. "China has become one of the first countries to come out of the (worldwide) economic slowdown and is expected to be the growth engine of the global chemical industry in the following 10 years helped by the government's massive spending in its development."

Evonik raised its sales prospects this year to a single-digit growth from a flat performance outlook it held at the end of the third quarter.

For its medium-term goal, the firm aims to invest around 100 million euros annually in China in the next few years to grow sales domestically to 2 billion euros, compared with 820 million euros in 2008.

The plant is capable of producing 100,000 metric tons of methyl methacrylate (MMA) as well as other chemicals, which are used mainly in LCD screens, electronics, construction, noise barriers and automotives. About half of the output will be used domestically, with the balance exported to countries in Asia.

The China market for MMA is rising by 8 percent annually versus global growth of 5 percent.


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