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Lubrizol to Expand Presence in China with Shanghai Facility

Published on 2007-03-05. Author : SpecialChem

SHANGHAI, CHINA, and CLEVELAND, OH -- The Lubrizol Corporation (NYSE: LZ) announced at a press conference in Shanghai, China, that it will expand its presence in China by investing approximately $40 million U.S. (equivalent to approximately RMB 310 million) to build a facility in Songjiang, just outside of Shanghai.

Joseph Chai, vice president of China for the Noveon Specialty Chemical segment, opened the press conference by providing background on Lubrizol and then introduced Charles P. Cooley, Lubrizol's senior vice president, treasurer and chief financial officer. Cooley provided details on the expansion and its importance to Lubrizol, outlined Lubrizol's previous investments in China, and introduced Lubrizol's one-company initiative.

New Facility and Expanded Presence

The new facility will include manufacturing, commercial and technical capabilities. It will be built on approximately 31,000 square meters of recently acquired land adjacent to the company's existing Estane® TPU (thermoplastic polyurethane) plant in the Songjiang industrial zone. The company expects to begin construction in the third quarter 2007, and to complete it in the fourth quarter 2008.

Products initially slated for production at the site are primarily resins, polymers and specialty additives used in coatings for paint, wood, plastic, metal and textiles. They also are used in printing inks, specialty papers, and adhesives. Carboset®, Hycar®, Lanco™, Myflam®, and Solsperse® are among the branded performance coatings products planned for manufacture.

Personal care product ingredients also will be manufactured at the new facility. These include rheology modifiers, thickeners, and fixative polymers. These specialty ingredients enable consumer products, such as shampoos, cleansers, skin care creams and lotions, and cosmetics, to have distinctive aesthetic properties such as smooth appearance and flow and superior afterfeel on hair and skin.

Future plans for the site could include adding other laboratories and production lines.

Importance of China Expansion

China is a fast-growing market and an important one for Lubrizol and its customers, and expanding Lubrizol's presence in China is one of the company's strategic priorities. "This investment helps us further expand our global reach and improve our operational efficiency in an important growth area. Local and regional customers seeking locally produced products, and global customers who are expanding into China, will be well served," said Cooley.

This expansion allows Lubrizol to offer best-in-class technology and technical solutions to the expanding Chinese marketplace. Furthermore, it helps the company continue its progress toward meeting overall growth objectives. "It represents another step in our growth in China, where we will continue to look for growth through market development and product innovation as well as through acquisitions, alliances and wholly owned investments across all of our business lines," continued Cooley.

Lubrizol's Background in China

Lubrizol's involvement in China dates back to 1984, with the sale of lubricant additive technology to Sinopec. Then in 1994, the company formed Lubrizol China and opened a representative office in Beijing. In 1996, Lubrizol formed two joint ventures with Sinopec for blending plants in Tianjin and Lanzhou. The company opened Shanghai Lubrizol International Trading Co, Ltd. in 1998, to sell imported Lubrizol products to Chinese customers and to purchase Chinese raw materials for export. In 2000, the Lanzhou joint venture was expanded from just blending to a full-scale additive component manufacturing operation, and Lubrizol welcomed a new partner, PetroChina.

Lubrizol's 2004 acquisition of Noveon International brought four commercial, technical and manufacturing organizations in the Shanghai area, along with offices and laboratories in Hong Kong. In 2005, the Estane® TPU plant was commissioned in Shanghai and was the first TPU plant in China built by a multinational producer. Most recently, Lubrizol established a laboratory in Shanghai to support its industrial additives business.

"So we certainly are no stranger to doing business in China. And importantly, the Shanghai expansion will allow Lubrizol to manufacture important products in China for the first time," explained Cooley.

One-Company Initiative

Cooley described the company's planned one-company initiative, the goal of which will be to clearly state to investors, customers and the communities where we operate that Lubrizol is one company with a common vision: to become one of the largest and most profitable specialty chemical companies in the world. "Lubrizol will become the name associated with all of our operations. Two business segments will comprise our company. Lubrizol Advanced Materials (now known as Noveon Specialty Chemicals) will apply to our performance coatings, engineered polymers and consumer specialties products. Lubrizol Additives (now known as Lubricant Additives) will be the name we will use for our engine additives as well as our driveline and industrial additives businesses," Cooley explained.

About Lubrizol Today

The Lubrizol Corporation (NYSE: LZ) is an innovative specialty chemical company that produces and supplies technologies that improve the quality and performance of our customers' products in the global transportation, industrial and consumer markets. These technologies include lubricant additives for engine oils, other transportation-related fluids and industrial lubricants, as well as fuel additives for gasoline and diesel fuel. In addition, Lubrizol makes ingredients and additives for personal care products and pharmaceuticals; specialty materials, including plastics technology and performance coatings in the form of specialty resins and additives. Lubrizol's industry-leading technologies in additives, ingredients and compounds enhance the quality, performance and value of customers' products, while reducing their environmental impact.

With headquarters in Wickliffe, Ohio, The Lubrizol Corporation, a Fortune 500 company, owns and operates manufacturing facilities in 20 countries, as well as sales and technical offices around the world. Founded in 1928, Lubrizol has approximately 6,700 employees worldwide. Revenues for 2006 were $4.0 billion.

Source: The Lubrizol Corporation


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