Bad Habit, Big Business: Eastman Expanding Acetate Tow Production

Eastman Chemical said Monday it plans to expand production of Estron acetate tow at its Eastman Chemical England Limited (ECEL) facility in Workington, England.

The cost of the expansion project was not disclosed.

"The demand for acetate tow continues to grow, particularly in our Europe, Middle East and Africa region and in our Asia Pacific region," said Richard L. Johnson, group vice president for Eastman's chemicals and fibers businesses.

Acetate tow is used as a raw material for the manufacture of filters for cigarettes.

The production expansion will increase annual capacity at the Workington facility from 15,000 metric tons to 24,000 MT. The expansion will create approximately 100 temporary jobs during construction and 25 new permanent jobs at the Workington facility. When the expansion is completed during the first half of 2008, Eastman's total worldwide capacity for acetate tow will exceed 180,000 MT.

"As a supplement to this new capacity, Eastman will continue to import a significant quantity of tow from its Kingsport, Tenn., facility into the Europe, Middle East and Africa region to support the regional demand growth for cellulose acetate tow," said David Speicher, regional business director for Eastman's fibers business.

Eastman manufactures and markets chemicals, fibers and plastics worldwide.

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