US company, Kraton Performance Polymers, will soon decide where it will locate its Asian facility for HSBCs (hydrogenated styrenic block copolymers). Expected to start up by 2013, the facility will have a capacity of 30 kilotonnes.
Though it planned for the facility four years ago, it put it on hold due to the global economic crisis. Last year, the Asian market accounted for 21% of the company’s total revenue and 43% of this was derived from the higher margin HSBC products, hence its urgency now to set up a plant in the region, said Lothar Freund, Vice-President of Technology. “We will focus on differentiation and explore new markets with our HSBC range of products,” he said, adding that HSBCs can be used as alternatives to PVC in automotive, electronic and medical applications.
Having relocated its Shanghai office to a new facility, double the size of the previous one, Kraton also plans to increase its workforce in China over the next one year.