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DuPont and Zhonghao Finalise HFC Refrigerant Joint Venture

DuPont and Zhonghao New Materials Company, Ltd., have announced they have completed formation of a joint venture to manufacture hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) blend refrigerants to support the fast-growing air conditioning and refrigeration industry in China. The new company, majority-owned by DuPont, is named DuPont 3F Fluorochemicals Changshu Company, Ltd., and is based in the Changshu Municipality, Jiangsu Province.

The joint venture will produce HFC 404A, HFC 407C and HFC 410A refrigerant blends, environmentally acceptable products for which DuPont currently maintains global patent rights, at a new facility in the Changshu Municipality. HFC 410A refrigerants should be available by April 2004; all products are scheduled to be fully available by mid-year. Refrigerant blends produced by the joint venture will be marketed in China and other Asian countries by DuPont under the DuPont™ Suva® brand. DuPont estimates the annual production rate for air conditioners alone in China is growing at about ten percent per year.

General manager for the joint venture is Tony Tsai, whose 14-year career with DuPont has included assignments in DuPont Fluoroproducts and DuPont Titanium Technologies. Tsai will report to a board of directors made up of representatives of both parent companies. He will be based in Shanghai.

"This joint venture is well-timed to support the strong growth in production of HFC-based air conditioning and refrigeration equipment in China and other Asian countries," said Mark Baunchalk, global business manager – refrigerants, DuPont Fluoroproducts. "Both DuPont and Zhonghao bring core expertise in fluorochemicals manufacturing. With each company's unique and respective strengths in patent and market positions, this will create a strong, competitive business venture."

"This cooperation with DuPont will not only strengthen and grow the fluorinated products business of Zhonghao New Materials Company and its affiliates, but will make a significant impact in encouraging environmentally responsible and sustainable development in other industries in China and globally," said Mr. Zhang Ping-Zhong, senior standing board member of Zhonghao New Materials Co., Ltd., and Mr. Zhou Yun-He, chairman of the board of Shanghai 3F New Materials Co., Ltd.

HFC blend refrigerants are widely recognized as the accepted alternatives to CFCs and HCFCs as those products are phased out globally under the terms of the Montreal Protocol.

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