WILMINGTON, DE — Ashland recently announced plans to increase production capacity of Natrosol™ hydroxyethylcellulose (HEC) at its site in Hopewell, Virginia, instead of the company’s Nanjing, China, site as previously announced. The shift in timing addresses the immediate industry need for HEC and by leveraging the infrastructure at Hopewell, Ashland expects to increase capacity sooner.

“Ashland is changing the sequencing and timing of Natrosol™ HEC investments based on immediate customer and industry demand and current market trends,” said Min Chong, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Specialty Additives, Ashland. “Redeploying funds to our Hopewell site now builds upon previous capital investments, allowing us to address market demand sooner. The decision underscores our growth strategy while ensuring we can meet our customers’ growing needs and provide additional supply security across the globe.”

Ashland reports that the unprecedented demand is a result of consumer trends towards more sustainable solutions including water-based paint and a global increase in the building and construction industries and the desire for milder, natural and more sustainable solutions in consumer markets.