Fri, Jul 13, 2007 - Page 11 News List

Degussa, Forhouse launch joint venture in Taichung

STAFF WRITER , WITH BLOOMBERG

Officials of Degussa GmbH, the world's biggest specialty chemicals maker, and Forhouse Corp hold a ribbon-cutting ceremony in Taichung yesterday to celebrate the opening of Degussa Forhouse Optical Polymers Corp, a joint venture which seeks to tap into the expanding market for liquid-crystal-display technology in Taiwan.

PHOTO: CHEN MEI-YING, TAIPEI TIMES

Degussa GmbH, the world's biggest specialty chemicals maker, opened a production facility in Taiwan yesterday with its local partner, Forhouse Corp (輔祥實業), in a bid to tap into the expanding market for liquid-crystal-display technology.

The Taichung-based new venture, Degussa Forhouse Optical Polymers Corp (輔德高分子), is hoping to produce 40,000 tonnes of polymethyl methacrylate, or PMMA, a year, the Dusseldorf, Germany-based Degussa said in an e-mailed statement.

PMMA is a type of molding compound used mainly in display screens.

Degussa holds a 51 percent stake in the new venture, with Forhouse owning the remainder. Forhouse, based in Taichung County and established in 1989, is a manufacturer of components for liquid-crystal screens.

Forhouse chairman Francis Pan (潘重華) said at a ceremony yesterday that the new production facility would help the company secure enough supplies of PMMA for future growth. It also represented a great advance in the company's integration strategy and a further improvement in cost structure, he said.

For Degussa, the venture ensures the continuous supply of high-quality acrylic materials to customers.

"By starting up the new facility, we have done a lot to strengthen our position with molding compounds in Asia and are expanding our global position as a leading supplier of PMMA," Degussa chairman Klaus Engel said in the statement.

Degussa is a unit of the energy and chemicals company RAG AG.

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