Ashland to increase capacity of Natrosol hydroxyethylcellulose at its facility in Hopewell, Virginia, rather than Nanjing, China; product is used in cellulosic thickeners for waterborne architectural coatings

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WILMINGTON, Delaware , February 18, 2022 (press release) –


Company delays timing of previously announced investment in Nanjing, China

Ashland today announced plans to increase production capacity of NatrosolTM hydroxyethylcellulose (HEC) at Hopewell, Virginia in the United States instead of the company’s Nanjing, China site as previously communicated. The shift in timing addresses the immediate industry need for HEC and by leveraging the infrastructure at Hopewell, Ashland expects to increase capacity sooner.

“Ashland is changing the sequencing and timing of NatrosolTM HEC investments based on immediate customer and industry demand and current market trends,” said Min Chong, senior vice president and general manager, specialty additives, Ashland. “Redeploying funds to our Hopewell site now build upon previous capital investments, allowing us to address market demand sooner. The decision underscores our growth strategy while ensuring we can meet our customers’ growing needs and provide additional supply security across the globe.”

NatrosolTM HEC is a natural product and an excellent thickening agent. It is used as a non-ionic rheology modifier in industrial and consumer focused applications. NatrosolTM rheology modifiers have been the leading cellulosic thickeners for waterborne architectural coatings for more than fifty years. Ashland is the leading global producer of HEC and supplies essential additives and specialty ingredients for a wide range of industries including paints and coatings, construction, oil and gas, personal care and pharmaceutical.

The company said the unprecedented demand is a result of consumer trends towards more sustainable solutions including water-based paint and a global increase in the building and construction industries and the desire for milder, natural, and more sustainable solutions in consumer markets.

About Ashland

Ashland (NYSE: ASH) is a global, consumer market-focused additives and specialty ingredients company that is responsibly solving for a better world. Through science and a conscious and proactive mindset for sustainability, we serve customers in pharmaceutical, personal care, architectural coatings, construction, energy, food, beverage, and nutraceuticals. At Ashland, we are approximately 3,800* passionate, tenacious solvers who thrive on developing practical, innovative, and elegant solutions to complex problems for customers in more than 100 countries. Visit and to learn more.

* Reflects employee base following the planned sale in 2022 of performance adhesives. TM Trademark, Ashland, or its subsidiaries, registered in various countries.

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