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DuPont Execs Elaborate On Korean Investment

June 16, 2005

DuPont Nonwovens, Wilmington, DE, has revealed more details surrounding its decision to construct a new facility near Seoul, Korea. Last month, the nonwovens producer announced it had finalized an agreement to build a $12 million nonwovens market development manufacturing facility in the province of Gyeong-gi, near Seoul. At the time, executives did not comment on the specifics of this plan but now Nonwovens Industry has learned that the decision to build a facility stems from the company's acquisition last year of fine fiber technology that is expected to help DuPont target the filtration segment, both in Asia and globally.

Included in last year's acquisition was a pilot line producing the technology . A market development facility will allow DuPont to gauge its need on a global basis and a full-scale commercial line is expected to be announced within the next 12 months. Whether or not this line will be located in Korea has not yet been determined.

A new market for DuPont, filtration has become increasingly more attractive to the nonwovens industry as media makers shift from cellulose-based products to synthetic materials such as nonwovens. "Filtration is an area we have looked at for some time," said Mark Vergnano global business manager of DuPont Nonwovnes. "But, until now, we haven't had the right technology to allow the right approach."

The pilot line and market development facility rerpresent DuPont's first wholly-owned nonwovens manufacturing facility located within China. Executives said Asian demand for its other technologies including Tyvek flashspun and Sontara spunlaced nonwovens is being met by facilities in Europe and North America. Earlier this year, DuPont opened a corporate research and development facility near Shanghai to support growth in the Asia-Pacific region.

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