By Liz White, ERJ staff
Paris-Rhodia and China National Blue Star Corp. have signed a memorandum of understanding on a strategic alliance of their respective silicones activities.
Under the alliance, the partners will build a core production unit for intermediates (methylchlorosilane) production unit in Tianjin, China, which will use Rhodia's technology. The unit, which will have an initial capacity of 200 kilotonnes, is planned to start up in the fourth quarter of 2007, according to a statement from the two organisations.
The two companies also plan to â€œcreate a co-enterprise to commercialise products manufactured through the alliance in the fast-growing Asia-Pacific market,â€ the statement added.
Rhodia and China National Blue Star are also evaluating a wider strategic alliance, one which would combine their upstream and downstream silicones activities.
The two firms claim such a joint venture would â€œreinforce both companies' competitiveness and innovation potential and strengthen their ability to support their customers on a worldwide basis.â€
The competitive access to Blue Star's silica, combined with strong integration in core intermediates in both Europe (France) and Asia (China) and Rhodia Silicones' full range of specialities, â€œwould position this new entity as a key player with strong growth potential, particularly in Asia-Pacific,â€ said the firms.
The companies intend to complete the global joint venture of their silicones businesses by mid-2006.