By Nina Ying Sun, UT Akron BureauNanjing, China-Speciality chemicals maker Albemarle Corp. has signed a letter of intent to acquire land in China for service and production facilities.Richmond, Virginia-based Albemarle will open a technology centre in Nanjing, China. At first, the site will handle technical support for Asian customers using the company’s flame retardants. The facility will feature a test lab for flame retardants for flexible polyurethane foam as well as polymer testing capability for Albemarle’s ALBlend additive blend products.The company chose Nanjing because of “the ability to locate both manufacturing and a technology centre on the same site,” said Asia-Pacific managing director Scott Sutton.Another advantage of Nanjing is the “good employee base” provided by the city’s expanding chemical industry, Sutton added. Nanjing is home to three Sinopec refining and chemical subsidiaries-Jinling Co., Yangzi Petrochemical Co. and Yizheng Chemical Fiber Co.Albemarle also has signed definitive agreements to form a second Chinese joint venture, which will be named Shanghai Jinhai Albemarle Fine Chemicals Co. Ltd. Shanghai Jinhai will be a sister company to Albermarle’s existing joint venture in China, Ningbo Jinhai Albermarle Chemical and Industry Co. Ltd.Sutton said the two companies will produce and market the same products: polymer stabilizers and intermediates for polymer stabilisers. “The Shanghai venture will also be capable of producing tin-free antioxidants,” he added. Both joint ventures will target the Chinese market as well as exporting products.”
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