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Ashland Inc. Increases Production at HEC Plant by 30%

December 5, 2018

Specialty chemicals and materials firm Ashland Inc. has wrapped up a project at its hydroxyethyl cellulose (HEC) production plant in Nanjing, China that expanded the site’s manufacturing capacity by some 30%, the firm announced Monday.

“This capacity expansion enables us to support our customers’ growing demand for Natrosol HEC,” Chris Brown, vice president and general manager of Ashland Coatings, said in a statement. “Continuing to maximize our current network provides Ashland with a better return on capital versus building a new plant, while also strengthening our cost position.”

Ashland produces HEC at facilities in the Netherlands, U.S., and China. Sold under the Natrosol brand, HEC produced by the company is used as a thickening agent in the personal care (including cosmetics), pharmaceutical, oil and gas, coatings, and construction industries. 

The company opened the Nanjing HEC plant in late 2010, investing $90 million into the site – Ashland’s largest investment in China and the Asia-Pacific region at the time, according to information on the company’s website. In 2014, Ashland commenced a project to expand production at the plant by 4000 mt. 

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