NANJING, China – Ashland Inc. celebrated the grand opening of its new Natrosol™ hydroxyethylcellulose (HEC) production facility in Nanjing, China. At $90 million, the new facility represents Ashland’s largest single investment in China and the Asia-Pacific region. The plant is located within the Nanjing Chemical Industry Park, a modern, highly integrated chemical manufacturing complex. It is supported by 115 employees.

The new facility is Ashland's fourth HEC production facility, complementing manufacturing sites located in North America and Europe. After a two-year construction process, which saw zero recordable incidents at the site, the 130,350-square-meter facility successfully started producing HEC in early November. Natrosol HEC is a cellulosic polymer used as an additive in a wide variety of industrial and consumer products, including latex paints, paper coatings and personal care items such as shampoos and shower gels. With an initial annual capacity of 10,000 metric tons, the plant’s infrastructure is designed for further expansion to meet the increasing market demand across Asia. The facility also includes an applications laboratory and technical training facilities.