DUPONT TOKYO, ASAHI IN NONWOVENS VENTURE

Byline: M.McN.

NEW YORK — DuPont said Monday that its wholly owned Japanese subsidiary, DuPont KK, Tokyo, will form a 50/50 joint venture with Asahi Chemical, Tokyo, to sell flash-spun nonwoven materials in Japan.
The financial terms of the arrangement, which should be incorporated by the end of the first quarter, were not disclosed.
The Japanese sales businesses of DuPont’s Tyvek spunbonded olefin and Asahi’s Luxer flash-spun nonwoven will be transferred to the new company, which will be called DuPont-Asahi Flash Spun Products Co. Ltd. The joint venture will employ about 20 people, drawn from executives at both companies, according to a DuPont spokesman. The final details of management have yet to be worked out, the spokesman added.
Tyvek and Luxer are nonwovens obtained by spinning very fine fibers of high density polyethylene and bonding them with heat and pressure.
The fibers’ characteristics include high strength, light weight and resistance to water and chemicals. Among the key apparel uses for the fibers are the manufacture of protective clothing, labels and high-performance rugged wear.
While DuPont doesn’t break out specific product sales by region, its worldwide nonwoven sales are about $700 million.
Asahi, with global sales of $8.7 billion, does not break out nonwoven product sales.
On another DuPont joint venture front, construction is scheduled to commence this month on Thapar DuPont Ltd.’s type 6,6 nylon plant in Keri, in the Indian state of Goa. Thapar DuPont is a joint venture between DuPont and the Thapar Group of New Delhi.
Construction of the $180 million facility, which was announced last June, follows the final approval given last Thursday to the project by Goa’s Chief Minister, Prataphsingh Rane.
Japan’s Mitsui & Co. Ltd. and the Goa government, through its Economic Development Corp., are minority partners in the venture.
The plant is scheduled to begin production in late 1996 and will have an annual capacity of 40 million pounds, aimed primarily at textiles and tire cord.
DuPont would not comment on what stake it holds in the joint venture, which falls under the auspices of DuPont Nylon Asia Pacific.
Thapar is a consortium of companies in various industries, including paper, textiles and fibers.

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