Bluestar Silicones Announces Major Investment in North America

By Bluestar Silicones, PRNE
Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Expanded Manufacturing & R&D Footprint in Charlotte, N.C., is Key Element of Five-Year Growth Plan

LYON, France and EAST BRUNSWICK, New Jersey, March 3, 2011 - Bluestar Silicones, a global integrated silicones supplier, has announced
investment plans to expand its manufacturing footprint and R&D operations in
North America.

These investment plans include Bluestar Silicones acquiring a
147,000-sq-ft former textile chemicals factory in Charlotte, N.C., which will
become home to the company's two manufacturing sites currently located in
Ventura, Calif., and Rock Hill, S.C.

The new site, which sits on 19.4 acres, offers Bluestar Silicones
significant room for growth to support its global five-year strategic plan to
become a leader in the silicones industry.

"The sizable footprint in Charlotte will enable us to expand our
manufacturing workshops, increase our laboratory space and give us
significant room to grow in existing specialty markets and enter new
markets," said J. Christopher York, president of Bluestar Silicones North
America. "In addition, this investment will greatly improve our day-to-day
operational efficiencies to become even more responsive to market needs."

The company also intends to increase staffing in sales, marketing, and
technical service. Employment is projected to increase 25% in the next two
years at the new Charlotte facility.

As part of the plan, existing manufacturing workshops will begin to be
transitioned into the Charlotte site towards the end of this year. The
company will take this opportunity to add a range of operational improvements
to its processes, including statistical control and automation machinery
wherever possible.

According to York, new process equipment will be purchased and installed
at the new site for more localized manufacturing to support growth in key
markets. In addition, bulk storage capability will be available at the new
site to improve efficiency and assure raw material feedstock supply.

This investment also includes expanding Bluestar Silicones R&D
capabilities in North America at the new site. Bringing R&D personnel
together from Ventura and Rock Hill to Charlotte, combined with larger R&D
laboratory facilities, new pilot equipment and increased staffing will offer
customers improved technical responsiveness and faster product development.

Bluestar Silicones expects the transition for customers will be seamless
in terms of supply with noticeable improvements in its manufacturing
environment and operational efficiencies.

The company intends to produce its extensive range of silicone
technologies at the Charlotte facility, including liquid silicone rubbers
(LSRs), high consistency rubbers (HCRs), room-temperature vulcanized
silicones (RTVs), fluids, dispersions, release coatings, specialty fluids,
resins and antifoam, marketed under its Silbione(R), Silcolease(R),
Silcolapse(R), Lyndcoat(R) and Bluesil(R) trade names.

Bluestar Silicones is already a strong player in paper release coatings
and textile coatings for automotive air bags. The company seeks to accelerate
its penetration of high-growth markets such as healthcare, personal care, and

The new site is expected to be fully transitioned by mid-2013.

About Bluestar Silicones

Bluestar Silicones is a EUR600 million worldwide silicones raw material
manufacturer established in 2007 through China National Bluestar Group.'s
acquisition of Rhodia Silicones. The company is one of the world's leading
fully integrated global silicones manufacturers with more than 50 years of
silicone expertise. Bluestar has manufacturing operations throughout the
world and combines upstream silicon metal operations and capacity with
downstream silicone market and application development expertise. The company
offers a comprehensive range of silicone products including release coatings,
engineering elastomers, healthcare products, specialty fluids, emulsions, and
resins. For more information, visit

Press contact: North America: Karen O'Keefe, +1-732-227-2089, karen.okeefe at; Corporate : Pascal-Louis Caillaut, +33(0)4-72-13-19-09, pascal-louis.caillaut at

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