Eastman enters Korean joint venture

KINGSPORT, Tenn. (AP) -- Eastman Chemical Co. and Korea-based SK Chemicals Co. Ltd. are forming a joint venture to build a manufacturing plant that will produce cellulose acetate tow, a raw material used primarily in cigarette filters.

Financial terms of the agreement, which will form a company named Eastman Fibers Korea Limited, and capital expenditures were not disclosed in an announcement Thursday.

Kingsport-based Eastman will have 80 percent ownership and will operate the facility. SK Chemicals will own the remainder and will be responsible for construction of the plant to be located next to an existing SK Chemicals site in Ulsan, Korea.

Construction is expected to begin in early 2009 and finished in the second quarter of 2010. The plant is expected to produce about 27,000 metric tons of cellulose acetate tow annually.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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