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May 19, 2014

Evonik starts isophorone facilities in China

Gerald Ondrey

Evonik Industries AG (Essen, Germany; www.evonik.com) has commenced an integrated production complex for isophorone and isophorone diamine in Shanghai, China. The company has invested over €100 million in the facilities, which will have an annual output capacity of 50,000 metric tons. Construction in the Shanghai Chemical Industry Park (SCIP) took less than two years. Evonik primarily plans to use the output of the new plants to serve customers in the coatings and paint, construction, adhesives, and composite industry in Asia.

"The new plant continues our successful growth story in isophorone chemistry. We are now represented in the three major economic zones, Europe, NAFTA, and Asia, with fully backwards integrated production facilities to tap into attractive new growth opportunities," says Patrik Wohlhauser, Member of the Evonik Industries Executive Board and COO.

Evonik has fifty years of experience with isophorone chemistry and continuously improves its process technologies. So far products based on isophorone (crosslinkers) were being manufactured in Marl and Herne, Germany, and in Mobile, USA.

"Evonik is the only company worldwide to cover the entire supply chain of isophorone and its derivatives. We now are in a position to quickly and reliably supply our customers in China and other Asian countries from our regional production, consistently offering products of high quality and purity," explains Ulrich Küsthardt, head of the Coatings & Additives Business Unit.

In addition to the new production complex, Evonik built an application technology service center with state-of-the-art laboratories at the Xinzhuang site in Shanghai. The custom-tailored isophorone solutions will strengthen the competitiveness of Asian customers.

The global market for isophorone and its derivatives grows at a stronger annual rate than global gross domestic product, with Asia showing above-average growth. The demand is particularly driven by the megatrend of resource efficiency. Thus, composites, which are used, for instance, in lightweight construction for automobiles as well as in highly durable wind power stations, offer above- average growth potential.

In addition, isophorone chemistry prolong the life expectancy of heavily used surfaces, which reduces maintenance cost and often makes renovations superfluous. Examples include floor coverings in parking garages, facades exposed to demanding climatic conditions, or ships operating in salty ocean water. Growth projections are also high for environmentally friendly coating technologies, such as UV-curing systems or solvent-free powder coatings. Evonik markets its products of isophorone chemistry globally under the brand names Vestamin, Vestanat, Vestagon and Vestasol.

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