ASHTA to Build New Chemical 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 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 Corporation 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 (NYSE:GLK) 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.