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German chemicals giant BASF has opened its first Ultrason polyarylsulfone plant outside its home country, choosing Yeosu in South Korea as the location for the facility. The new plant will allow the company to boost its production of this high-performance thermoplastic and meet growing demand in the Asia-Pacific region.

The South Korean plant will be capable of producing 6,000 metric tons of Ultrason polyarylsulfone a year, lifting BASF's global annual capacity to 18,000 metric tons, Business Standard reports.

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According to Raimar Jahn, president of BASF's performance materials business, the opening of the Yeosu plant aims to help the company achieve its goal of producing locally about 75% of the products it sells in the Asia-Pacific region. The plan is to make that a reality by 2020. The new facility is also a clear sign that BASF is committed to this region, Jahn said. WooSung Shin, head of BASF Korea, added that a local presence brings the company closer to regional customers and allows it to be more supportive of fast-growing industries key to this region. This brisk growth pace is partially attributable to the numerous new applications being developed globally for Ultrason.

Ultrason is widely used in industries such as electronics, automotive and aerospace, where it goes into making heat-resistant, lightweight components. It is also a common component of water treatment membranes and fittings for drinking water pipelines, as well as parts for home appliances.