Honeywell has announced plans to build a refrigerant manufacturing plant in Qingpu, near Shanghai, China. The facility is expected to be operational in November 2004.

According to Honeywell officials, the plant will serve as the production and service center in Asia for such HFC refrigerants as R-410A, -407C, and -404A.

The expansion follows the company's recent increase in HFC chemical manufacturing capacity in the United States, which included more than $200 million in new capital and investment.

A statement from the company said, "The U.S. and Chinese facilities together will expand Honeywell's globally integrated supply system for refrigerants, with facilities in the United States providing some of the source materials for the Chinese facility. The new facility will blend and package products tailored to meet the rapidly expanding and unique needs of the air conditioning and refrigeration industries in Asia."

Richard Preziotti, vice president and general manager for Honeywell Chemicals, said, "Demand for HFC-based refrigerant blends, blowing agents, and other products are increasing in Asia due to domestic growth, regional environmental regulations, and the growing number of equipment manufacturers expanding or relocating production of their products in China and throughout Southeast Asia."

According to David Metcalf, Honeywell marketing manager for refrigerants, R-134a is already being used in smaller residential and commercial refrigeration equipment in China as the result of production bans in R-12.

For newer HFC blends, such as R-410A and R-407C, that replace R-22, "the first segment to use that is residential air conditioning systems."

Further he said, "Because China has become a central point for manufacturing HFC-based air conditioners for other parts of the world, some manufacturers find it more economical and simple to offer these same HFC-based systems to consumers in China.

"And the new facility in Qingpu will actually make it easier for Honeywell to sell U.S.-made refrigerant products to Chinese manufacturers and distributors."

In related news, Honeywell Specialty Materials announced it will open a research and development facility in Shanghai in October 2004.

Publication date: 09/06/2004