Industry Press Releases

Kraton Invests in Flexible Cariflex™ Semi Works Latex Unit

Tuesday, Mar 19, 2019

Kraton Corporation, a leading global producer of styrenic block copolymers, specialty polymers and high-value performance products derived from pine wood pulping co-products, has approved the construction of a semi works latex unit in Paulinia, Brazil. Construction is scheduled to complete by the first quarter of 2020 and ready for commissioning during the second quarter of 2020.

"The new semi works unit will enable further acceleration of our innovation projects," said Philippe Henderson, Kraton's Market Development Director for Cariflex Polyisoprene Products. "We can reduce the cost and complexity during the early stages of new product scale-up activities and commercialization, allowing us to improve time to market."

This capability could lead to more flexible commercialization of the new Cariflex IR2GL1 Latex, a next generation thermoplastic elastomer latex offering purity, strength and softness while reducing Type I and Type IV allergies frequently encountered in dipped goods. The platform would allow for more efficient transition between the laboratory pilot unit and the full scale commercial unit. It could be used for early stage commercialization volumes. It could also offer invaluable support in the context of Management of Change, such as alternative raw material assessments for security of supply or process, and process control studies.

The semi works latex unit will be able to operate on the basis of the Direct Connect (DC) mode or using solid polymer feedstock (non-DC mode). In DC mode, the semi works unit will pump polymer materials directly from the onsite commercial polymerization reactor. This will provide tremendous flexibility to embrace ambitious development projects based on polymers either supplied by third parties, or sourced from Kraton's core anionic polymerization operations.

"We believe the Cariflex technology has high growth potential," said Henderson. "This platform will enhance our ability to capitalize on key market opportunities through product portfolio expansion."

Earlier this year, Kraton initiated a process to review strategic alternatives for the Cariflex business, which may result in a sale of the business.

About Kraton Corporation   
Kraton Corporation  is a leading global producer of styrenic block copolymers, specialty polymers and high-value performance products derived from pine wood pulping co-products. Kraton's polymers are used in a wide range of applications, including adhesives, coatings, consumer and personal care products, sealants and lubricants, medical, packaging, automotive, paving and roofing applications. As the largest global provider in the pine chemicals industry, the company's pine-based specialty products are sold into adhesive, road and construction and tire markets, and it produces and sells a broad range of performance chemicals into markets that include fuel additives, oilfield chemicals, coatings, metalworking fluids and lubricants, inks and mining. Kraton offers its products to a diverse customer base in numerous countries worldwide. Kraton, the Kraton logo and Cariflex are all trademarks of Kraton Corporation, or its subsidiaries or affiliates.

Media Contact: Thao Pham; T: (281) 770-1380
Investor Relations Contact: Gene Shiels; T: (281) 504-4886



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