SUZHOU, CHINA & ST. LOUIS, USA: Solutia Inc. will expand its manufacturing plant located in Suzhou, China. The plant is a manufacturing site for the company's world leading Saflex polyvinyl butyral (PVB) interlayer for laminated glass.
The Suzhou plant is a full-scale production facility that currently produces Saflex interlayer for the automotive market. The new expansion includes the addition of a second manufacturing line within the existing footprint of the plant.
The new line has enhanced capabilities to serve the architectural, photovoltaic and automotive markets in China and the broader Asia Pacific region. The second production line will significantly increase the annual capacity of the Suzhou plant and is slated to be completed by the end of 2011.
“Solutia is committed to fulfilling the growing needs of our customers in China, and the expansion of our Suzhou plant is essential to that commitment,” said Jeffry N. Quinn, chairman, president and CEO of Solutia Inc.
“While we have made a number of major capital investments in our businesses over the last few years to accelerate our transformation, the Suzhou facility was the first new plant we built from the ground up. We will continue to devote substantial resources to seizing the growth opportunities in China across each of our businesses.”
Solutia's Saflex product is the most trusted name in PVB interlayer technology for laminated glazing, delivering outstanding performance and durability, backed by reliable and knowledgeable service. As a result, it is found in nearly 40 percent of laminated architectural and automotive glass worldwide. Saflex interlayers are also used to encapsulate thin film photovoltaic solar cells, providing outstanding processability and durability.
"Global demand for Saflex interlayers continues to rise around the world, especially in China," said Timothy Wessel, president and general manager of Solutia's Saflex business.
"This additional expansion improves our ability to serve the needs of laminators and glass fabricators supplying the rapidly growing Chinese automotive, architectural and photovoltaic industries and the broader Asia-Pacific markets. We look forward to collaborating with these customers, and believe our continued investment in the Suzhou plant will support significant growth in the laminated glass and solar energy markets."
Saflex recently added a customer service lab to its Suzhou site to better serve customer needs in the region.
"As plant manager, I am proud that Solutia has chosen to continue to invest in the China region," said Christina Leung, plant manager, Suzhou. "The investment in part is recognition of the efforts of the hard working men and women of the Suzhou plant. We expect to be able to rapidly expand service to the market and complete the second line expansion in 18 months."