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Solvay announces project to build large-scale alkoxylation facility in Singapore

Solvay announces that it will build a large-scale alkoxylation facility in Singapore which is expected to start operations by 2015 and will serve the fast-growing Asian market in home & personal care, coatings, industrial, agrochemicals and oil & gas.

The facility will be connected to Shell's new High Purity Ethylene Oxide (HPEO) unit located in the world-class, integrated petrochemical hub of Jurong Island. Through the alkoxylation process key monomers are produced that serve downstream surfactant development and manufacturing.

"This project is part of our aggressive growth strategy in Asia and solidifies our specialty surfactant production," said Emmanuel Butstraen, President of Solvay Novecare. "In addition to greatly expanding our alkoxylation footprint in Asia, the facility demonstrates Novecare's ambition to be the world leader in delivering innovative surfactant solutions to our customers on a global basis."

The investment comes after Solvay last week announced that it would build a specialty surfactant plant near Berlin, serving the Central and Eastern European markets.

Solvay Novecare is already Asia's largest specialty surfactant manufacturer with 11 production sites and two R&D centers in Singapore and Shanghai. The new plant will produce specialty alkoxylate surfactants which deliver targeted cleansing, dispersing, defoaming and emulsifying performance attributes in formulations.

"Our new facility will enable us to develop our specialty surfactant offer in Asia and use Singapore as a hub to provide highly competitive and innovative intermediates to other Novecare sites in Asia, as well as penetrating further into key Southeast Asia markets such as Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand," said Pierre-Franck Valentin, Vice-President and General Manager of Solvay Novecare in Asia- Pacific.

The "on pipe" facility will be supplied by an ethylene oxide (EO) pipe from Shell to feed the alkoxylation activities, highlighting both Solvay Novecare's long-term commitment to sustainable production and growing demand from its end markets.

Fang Yea Yee, General Manager, Ethylene Oxide and Glycols, Shell Chemicals, said: "We are very pleased to forge this strategic relationship with Solvay. Connecting their operations with ours allows both companies to strengthen our value offerings to our customers and to take advantage of the many growth opportunities across our global businesses."

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