HOUSTON (March 30)—Kraton Polymers L.L.C. is building a polyisoprene latex plant in Paulinia, Brazil, to help it meet strong demand for the material from medical and consumer products industries.
Also, the company's parent, Polymer Holdings L.L.C., reported it ended 2005 in the black after suffering a loss of nearly $40 million in 2004.
Kraton said it is on track to complete the Brazilian plant by the fourth quarter. At start-up the facility will have an annual production capacity of 1,500 metric tons, doubling Kraton's global capability for the material.
Kraton didn't disclose its investment in the project. The firm markets the synthetic alternative to natural rubber latex under the Kraton IR trade name.
Meanwhile, Kraton's parent company said it posted net income of $14.4 million for the year ended Dec. 31 on 20.8-percent higher sales of $975.6 million. Higher selling prices and favorable product mix accounted for most of the sales improvement, the firm said, as the volume of material sold grew 2 percent to a record 353,000 metric tons