REFILE-UPDATE 1-Arkema sets up acrylics JV in China with $240 mln initial investment

Thu Jan 23, 2014 5:59am EST

(Refiles to fix spelling of "listed" in first paragraph)

PARIS Jan 23 (Reuters) - French chemicals group Arkema on Thursday said it had set up a joint-venture with Jurong Chemical, China's biggest manufacturer of acrylic acid and a unit of Singapore-listed firm Sunvic, with an initial investment of $240 million.

Arkema said on Thursday the joint-venture, in which it would have a majority stake, would enable it to boost its coating solutions business in Asia and expand in fast-growing markets for products such as super-absorbents, paints and adhesives.

The joint venture will be based at Jurong's Taixing site, west of Shanghai, and will have an initial capacity of 160,000 tonnes a year.

Arkema has the option to raise capacity to 320,000 tonnes a year for a further $235 million investment and acquire the remaining one-third of the plant's acrylic acid production at a cost of $165 million in the next five years.

"This partnership is a unique opportunity for Arkema to access a major acrylic monomer production site in Asia this year, and what's more in China, a country that alone represents a quarter of the global acrylics market, with high growth," Marc Schuller, Arkema Executive Vice President said in a statement.

(Reporting by Astrid Wendlandt; Editing by Miral Fahmy)