GE, Shin-Etsu Chemical Plan Silicones Plant In Thailand

Compiled By Deborah Austin General Electric Co. and Shin-Etsu Chemical Co. Ltd. plan a jointly owned plant in Thailand to manufacture silane-monomers and siloxanes, used in production of silicone end-products. The joint venture company -- Asia Silicones Monomer Ltd. -- is owned 50% by Shin-Etsu and 50% by GE-and-Toshiba business partnership GE Toshiba Silicones. The $250 million plant, which will be located near Bangkok, should be operational by 2003 with construction starting this year. It is supported and approved by the Thailand Board of Investment. With initial 70,000-ton siloxane capacity, the plant's output will be directed to each joint-venture-shareholders' Pacific silicones operations. Thailand's political and social stability, transportation access, and natural gas availability contributed to the site choice, say company spokespersons. Waterford, N.Y.-headquartered silicone products manufacturer GE Silicones, a $1.4 billion operating division of General Electric-owned GE Plastics, has operations in 13 Asian countries. Tokyo-based $6.4 billion Shin-Etsu Chemical Co. Ltd. is a major supplier in the PVC and silicones industries, among others.

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