DuPont plans joint venture in China

DuPont Fluoroproducts has signed a letter of intent with Zhonghao New Chemical Material Company and Changshu 3F Fluorochemical to form a joint venture to manufacture hydrofluorocarbon blend refrigerants to support the fast-growing air conditioning and refrigeration industry in China. HFC blend refrigerants are widely recognised as alternatives to replace ozone-depleting refrigerants as those products are phased out globally under the terms of the Montreal Protocol. Under the terms of the LOI, DuPont will cooperate with Zonghao to produce HFC 404A, HFC 407C and HFC 410A refrigerant blends, products for which DuPont currently maintains global patent rights. The companies plan to manufacture the refrigerants at a new facility in the Changshu Municipality, Jiangsu Province. Refrigerant blends produced by the joint venture will be marketed in China and other Asian countries by DuPont under the DuPont Suva© brand. DuPont will be the majority owner of the joint venture, which is expected to be formed later this year following regulatory approvals and completion of due diligence. Refrigerant manufacturing is expected to begin in the first half of 2004. Other terms were not disclosed.

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