(EnergyAsia, October 20 2011, Thursday) — US engineering giant Honeywell said it and China’s Sinochem Group have agreed to form an equal joint venture in China to produce and sell blowing agents for energy efficient foam insulation to meet growing demand in Asia for energy efficient and environmentally friendlier materials. The proposed joint venture, to be located in Taicang, Jiangsu Province, is subject to Chinese government approval.

The joint venture will produce HFC-245fa, a non-ozone-depleting rigid foam blowing agent used in insulation for appliances, construction, transportation and other applications where maximum energy efficiency is required.

Expected to start up in late 2013, the venture may also produce Honeywell’s newly launched Solstice™, its next generation HFO lower-global-warming-potential blowing agent.
China and other Asian nations are rapidly adopting hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) materials, including blowing agents and refrigerants, to comply with the Montreal Protocol on Substances That Deplete the Ozone Layer.

China’s Ministry of Environmental Protection requires phasing out the use of ozone-depleting blowing agent R-141b in small household appliances by 2015.

At the 15th UN Climate Change Conference Copenhagen 2009, Beijing committed to a 40% to 45% reduction of carbon dioxide emissions in 2020 compared to the 2005 emissions level.

Based on this, demand for blowing agents and the next generation of lower-global-warming-potential blowing agents in China is expected to grow significantly in coming years.

Honeywell said its HFC-245fa is a non-ozone-depleting HFC liquid blowing agent that provides the foam’s superior insulating properties compared to other forms of insulation. The HFC-245fa blowing agent is used extensively by appliance manufacturers to insulate refrigeration equipment to meet increasing global energy efficiency requirements. It is also used in construction and transportation applications.

The un-named new joint venture will have exclusive rights to sell HFC-245fa in the Asia region. Honeywell, which currently manufactures the blowing agent at its Geismar, Louisiana, US facility, will continue to sell HFC-245fa in all other areas under its Enovate brand name.

Andreas Kramvis, president and CEO of Honeywell Specialty Materials, said:

“This joint venture with Sinochem, one of the strongest companies in China, will help meet growing demand for this material as Asian customers rapidly adopt more energy efficient and environmentally compliant materials.

“Having Asian supply close to local customers is important to ensure global supply of this material in the future.”

Yinping Wang, a Sinochem Group vice president, said: “Honeywell is a globally-renowned multinational company with diversified, leading technologies, products and services.

“The formation of the joint venture enhances our product portfolios and service capabilities in energy efficient and environmentally friendly materials, which aligns with both companies’ business development strategies, and reinforces the foundation for cooperation in depth.  The joint venture depicts an exciting prospect.”