SHANGHAI, China and HOUSTON, March 26, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Kraton Performance Polymers, Inc. (NYSE: KRA), a leading global producer of styrenic block copolymers or "SBCs," is advancing its Asian expansion strategy to support the needs of new and existing customers. Kraton continues to offer a strong presence in the Asia Pacific region through its technology and investment in additional resources to support tremendous growth in the region.
"We are committed to our customers in China and the Asia Pacific region," said Kevin M. Fogarty, President & CEO, Kraton Performance Polymers. "Kraton will continue to expand its technology and service offerings as we work with our customers to meet their needs and help them grow," he added.
Kraton is fully engaged in the formation of a 50/50 joint venture with Formosa Petrochemical Corporation to construct and operate a 30-kiloton hydrogenated styrenic block copolymer ("HSBC") plant in Mailiao, Taiwan. The plant will employ state-of-the-art technology and support global demand for Kraton's differentiated HSBCs. It will also provide significant, additional supply capability, and will set a new global standard for efficiency and product quality for HSBCs. Plant operation is expected in the first half of 2014.
In 2011, Kraton expanded its Cariflex™ isoprene rubber (IR) latex capacity to support the continued growth in demand for Cariflex products. The company has also executed a contract with its manufacturing provider in Japan, which will result in a doubling of Cariflex latex manufacturing capacity in Japan by mid-2013.To further support Kraton's customers and the expansions listed above, the company recently opened a new innovation center in Shanghai, China. The facility is three times larger than the previous facility and better accommodates its technical staff, which has doubled over the past eighteen months. The new, state-of-the-art laboratory builds upon Kraton's capabilities including wet chemistry, flame testing and rubber processing. These advances will enhance Kraton's ability to serve existing and new customers in all segments of SBCs as well as Cariflex IR and IR latex. For additional information about Kraton's investments in Asia Pacific, please contact H. Gene Shiels at firstname.lastname@example.org or 281-504-4886. About Kraton Polymers
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