Thierry Le Hénaff, Arkema’s chairman and CEO, inaugurated Arkema’s first R&D Center in China on Oct. 17 on the Changshu industrial site in the presence of the Chinese authorities. At the cutting edge of technology, this new center will provide development capacities as well as ideal local support for the Group’s customers in China and Southeastast Asia. Alongside the Group’s KTC (Kyoto Technical Center) in Japan, it bolsters Arkema’s growth ambition in Asia, with the Group looking forward to achieving almost 30% of its sales in fast growing regions by 2016.
Ideally located 80 kilometers to the northwest of Shanghai, the Changshu platform, Arkema’s largest industrial site in the world, now hosts an R&D Center in close proximity to its customers in this, a strategic region for the Group.
The Changshu Research and Development Center (CRDC) offers geographic and technical complementarity with the Group’s nine other research and development centers, in particular the Kyoto Center in Japan, which this year celebrates its 20 years of existence.
It helps speed up the development of customized products and solutions for Arkema’s customers in China and Southeast Asia in fast-growing markets, namely batteries, photovoltaics, electronics packaging, automotive, cable, sports and paint.
The CRDC will enable Arkema, which has already established many contacts and collaborations with the Changshu and Shanghai Universities, to strengthen its links with the Chinese scientific community at large.
With a team of top researchers, most of whom young graduates from leading universities, Arkema provides genuine expertise and first-rate customer support on the Group’s products, in particular high performance materials, fluorinated polymers, organic peroxides, and performance coatings.
The CRDC boasts state-of-the-art equipment, including application laboratories for batteries, membranes and coatings, a center of excellence for thermoplastics (extrusion, injection, etc.), a process expertise center (pilot reactor systems, polymerization, distillation), as well as a training center for customers.
Established in China since 1984, Arkema operates six industrial sites, including the Changshu platform near Shanghai and the Casda Biomaterials site in Hengshui to the South of Peking, its two largest sites in the world.
In Changshu, Arkema operates plants for fluorogases, fluoropolymers (PVDF), specialty polymers (PA11), organic peroxides and rheology additives for paint. An acrylic resin plant for paint is due to start up by the end of the year. Arkema has invested almost €300 million in these various facilities since 2006.
Arkema is also present in Nansha with its Sartomer photocure acrylate resins plant for the coatings industry. Finally, in 2012 Arkema acquired Hipro Polymers, which produces polyamide 10, and Casda Biomaterials, which runs the world’s leading plant for sebacic acid, used in particular for the manufacture of polyamide 10.
With these sites and its hydrogen peroxide plant in Shanghai, Arkema is present in China in its main product lines.