OKLAHOMA CITY — Kerr-McGee Chemical LLC has announced plans for a 10% increase in production capacity at its Kwinana titanium dioxide (TiO2) pigment plant near Perth, western Australia. The $10-million project, scheduled for completion in mid-2001, will increase production capacity of chloride-process pigment from 86,000 to 95,000 metric tons per year, the company said.

The Kwinana pigment facility, which primarily serves the Asia-Pacific market, is part of Tiwest, a 50/50 joint venture between Kerr-McGee Chemical and Ticor Ltd., a publicly traded Australian company. The expansion is part of Kerr-McGee’s strategy to “grow this core business on a cost-efficient basis. It will also allow us to continue to effectively serve the growing market demand in the Asia-Pacific region,” said Luke R. Corbett, Kerr-McGee chairman and CEO. He said additional expansions at the company’s six TiO2 facilities around the world will be considered “as market demands warrant.”

Current estimated annual TiO2 demand in the Asia-Pacific region is 780,000 metric tons, with a projected annual growth rate of 5–6%, Kerr-McGee said.