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.