USA headquartered composite resins producer Ashland entered into the joint venture in 1999, when Ara Ashland was created.

"Ashland is a global company, so it considers its effective participation in the Brazilian market extremely important," says Andrew Beer, who has recently been appointed to lead Ashland Performance Materials' business in South America.

From the customers’ point of view, Beer believes that the conclusion of the joint venture will offer several benefits, including the rapid distribution of products launched by Ashland.

"As long as there is local demand, we are prepared to rapidly supply the Brazilian manufacturers," says Beer. "This is the case, for example, of resins derived from soybean, ENVIREZ®, which are already being tested by some manufacturers of composites in Brazil.”

According to the Brazilian Composite Materials Association (ABMACO), the industry recorded a turnover of US$ 1.25 billion last year, which may increase 3% this year.

The biggest market for composites in Brazil is construction, including applications such as water tanks, roofing tiles, bathtubs and pools.