KINGSPORT, Tenn., Dec. 19, 2011 – Eastman Chemical Company (NYSE: EMN) today broke ground on a new facility to produce acetate tow in Heifei, China. The new plant is owned and will be operated by Eastman Shuangwei Fibers Company Limited (ESFCL), a joint venture with China National Tobacco Corporation, and will produce 30,000 metric tons of acetate tow upon completion.
“Eastman has a long-standing relationship with China National Tobacco Corporation that spans more than 20 years,” said Michael Chung, senior vice president of International Ventures and chairman of the board of ESFCL. “As partners in this new joint venture, I look forward to further strengthening our relationship and many more successful years together.”
Through this joint venture, Eastman is able to expand its presence in China and increase participation in the fastest growing economy in the world. This facility represents the company’s first investment in the country for an acetate tow plant. The plant is expected to be operational in mid-2013.
“We are committed to growing our global acetate tow business and this joint venture is another demonstration of that commitment,” said Linda Hensley, vice president and general manager of Eastman’s Fibers segment. “China plays a key role in our growth strategy and this new facility will help us meet our increasing customer demand.”