ASHTA Chemicals Inc. to build chlor-alkali plant in Arkansas

ASHTA Chemicals Inc. announced it will build a second chlor-alkali facility for the production of potassium-based chemicals and chlorine in El Dorado, Ark., near a major client, Great Lakes Chemical. The new plant will significantly increase ASHTA Chemicals' production capacity and bring its products closer to existing markets...

ASHTABULA, OH, Jan. 10, 2005 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- ASHTA Chemicals Inc. announced it will build a second chlor-alkali facility for the production of potassium-based chemicals and chlorine in Arkansas. The new plant will significantly increase ASHTA Chemicals' production capacity and bring its products closer to existing markets.

Construction is to begin near the end of 2005 with completion scheduled for mid-2007, according to company officials. "The new plant will allow ASHTA Chemicals to serve markets nationwide more effectively and efficiently," said R.R. "Barney" Baxter, President and CEO. "We have already entered into an agreement with Great Lakes Chemical Corp. to provide them with a ready, long-term supply of chlorine."

The new plant will be located adjacent to Great Lakes' central plant in El Dorado, Ark., where Great Lakes operates three facilities. Great Lakes, a diversified specialty chemical company, is based in Indianapolis, Ind.

ASHTA Chemicals announced last September that it was investing an estimated $6.9 million for modernizations to its northeast Ohio plant, which is adjacent to its headquarters at 3509 Middle Road in Ashtabula Township. These modernization projects are expected to take place over the next three years and were described by the company as a commitment to the environment, its customers, its employees and the community.

Among other products, ASHTA Chemicals produces liquid chlorine, which is used as an intermediate in the chemical process industry, in water purification and in the production of pharmaceutical products, plastics and titanium dioxide. ASHTA Chemicals is also one of the nation's three producers of potassium hydroxide. This compound has a wide range of uses, such as the production of potassium phosphates, liquid fertilizers and agricultural chemicals, water treatment chemicals, photographic chemicals, pharmaceuticals, industrial and institutional cleaners, liquid soaps and detergents, runway deicer and alkaline batteries.

About ASHTA Chemicals
ASHTA Chemicals Inc. (www.ashtachemicals.com) is a manufacturer and marketer of chlorine, liquid potassium hydroxide, anhydrous potassium hydroxide walnut (briquette), liquid potassium carbonate and chloropicrin, and a marketer of anhydrous potassium carbonate and anhydrous potassium hydroxide (flake). In 1992, the company opened its corporate offices and plant in Ashtabula, Ohio, acquiring facilities that had been operating since the early 1960s. Its management has since positioned the company for profitable growth with the purchase of Olin Chemical's potassium products business in 1993, design and implementation of a closed loop zero-discharge water treatment system and the construction of a new potassium carbonate plant in 1995. ASHTA Chemicals' focus is on markets and products that provide sustained, profitable growth for core potassium hydroxide chemistry. The distribution system was significantly expanded in 1998 to provide ample product in key chemical markets. In addition to the Ashtabula plant and offices, the company services customers from three other production sites, 19 liquid terminals and five warehouses strategically located in the United States and Canada.

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