Eastman Chemical Joint Venture To Make China Plant

Sinopec Yangzi Petrochemical Co. will help Eastman gain more access to fast-growing consumer packaged goods markets in Asia.

KINGSPORT, Tenn. (AP) — Specialty chemicals maker Eastman Chemical Co. is teaming up with Sinopec Yangzi Petrochemical Co. to build a new resin plant in China.

The companies said Tuesday that they are forming a joint venture that will be equally owned by both businesses.

Eastman Chemical is said to be seeking more access to fast-growing markets in Asia, particularly China. The company's recent $3.4 billion buyout of Solutia is reportedly part of that plan.

The resin plant that Eastman Chemical is building with Sinopec will be located in Nanjing, China. It is expected to be running by the end of 2014.

The facility will boost Eastman Chemical Co.'s total capacity for hydrogenated resins by 50 percent, which the company says will make it the biggest global supplier of hydrogenated hydrocarbon resins. The resins are useful in making packaging and personal hygiene products, including disposable diapers.

The plant will be located on an existing manufacturing site that will be expanded for the addition.

The two companies have an existing joint venture that is responsible for making Eastman Eastotac resins.

Shares of Eastman Chemical, based in Kingsport, Tenn., rose 55 cents $51.55 in morning trading. The stock has traded between $32.44 in September 2011 and $55.53 in late April.

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