ESSEN, Germany - Evonik Industries announced plans to build world-scale plants for producing isophorone and isophorone diamine in Shanghai, China. The company is investing more than EUR 100 million in the plants, which are scheduled to go on stream in the first quarter of 2014. Construction work on the multi-user site China (MUSC), Evonik's production site in Shanghai, will begin in early 2012. Isophorone is used in applications like paint and printing inks, while its derivative, isophorone diamine, is used as a hardener in epoxy-based formulations such as those used in wind turbines.

"The investment shall further consolidate our strong market and technology positions in isophorone chemistry," said Dr. Thomas Haeberle, the Evonik Executive Board Member responsible for the Resource Efficiency segment. Evonik expects to see strong growth in demand for raw materials used in the paint, coatings, and construction industries, for automotive applications and for high-performance composite materials. This growth will also be driven particularly by the increasing demand for wind turbines.

For the specialty chemicals company, which claims to be the world leader in isophorone chemistry, the plants in Shanghai will be the first for isophorone and isophorone diamine in Asia. "By establishing the production platform in China, we want to support the long-term growth ambitions of our customers in the Asia region," said Ulrich Küsthardt, head of the Coatings & Additives Business Unit. "This strategic positioning will allow us to plan capacities even more efficiently."

Evonik currently manufactures isophorone chemistry products in Mobile, AL, as well as in Marl and Herne, Germany. The company has more than 40 years experience and is a pioneer in isophorone chemistry.