Air Products announced today that it has formed a joint venture named Air Products Shanfeng with a leading Chinese chemicals supplier, Changzhou Shangfeng Chemical Industry Co. Ltd. (CZSF), to produce triethylenediamine (TEDA) for the fast growing polyurethane (PU) market in China. The new entity, majority owned and managed by Air Products, is headquartered at its production site in Changzhou, Jiangsu Province, Eastern China, which was successfully transferred to the joint venture company from CZSF.
This investment is part of Air Products' continuing strategy to build long-term infrastructure in China, and to support the growth of its TEDA business by strengthening its China-based capabilities. Air Products will continue to invest its leading manufacturing and process technology into the Changzhou facility to provide world-class manufacturing and meet all environmental, health and safety standards.
TEDA is an important additive used to catalyze reactions to produce polyurethane foam. Growth in the polyurethane foam market is driven by population and income demographics with major end use segments for flexible slab urethane foam (for furniture, carpet underlay, automotive seating) and shoe soles. The polyurethane market in China has been growing at greater than 10% annually and is expected to continue to experience high growth rates as it accelerates its development as a global manufacturing center.
"Our customers are producing increasingly sophisticated products and are continually looking for supply of higher quality products and value-added solutions to help them succeed," said Dr. Jeff Kramer, vice president and general manager, Chemicals Group, Air Products Asia. By leveraging CZSF's manufacturing capacity, market knowledge and leading reputation in China with Air Products' technology, global leadership and application development laboratories, the new venture is well positioned to meet our customers' growing requirements. Having manufacturing and application development capabilities in multiple regions means we can meet all our customers' needs in a reliable, efficient manner and bring world class capabilities to solve our customers' challenges."
Air Products has been supplying amine catalysts to the PU market for 40 years and is a leading global supplier of TEDA to the PU market. The company manufactures TEDA in Paulsboro, New Jersey in the United States, and has additional downstream modification capabilities in Europe. TEDA is also an important product in the portfolio of Air Products' Performance Materials Division.
The Performance Materials Division is one of the four growth business platforms for Air Products along with Electronics, Refinery Hydrogen and Energy Solutions, and Healthcare. Performance Products is a core business within the Performance Materials Division and is comprised of several product lines including Polyurethane Chemicals (PUC) which is made up of several different amine products and others that go into polyurethane foam applications. Air Products manufactures and markets an extensive line of polyurethane additives worldwide, including Dabco and Polycat amine catalysts, Dabco TMR amine catalysts, Dabco metal-based catalysts, Dabco silicone surfactants and LK non-silicone surfactants. These versatile products are used in all types of polyurethane foam.