1994 Kuan Yin, Taiwan
The white pigment and mineral products plant at Kuan Yin, Taiwan, includes one of the largest titanium dioxide (TiO2) plants in the world. The facility, which produces 60,000 tons of TiO2 per year, reinforces DuPont’s position as the world’s largest and most efficient producer of the pigment.
DuPont Far East came to Taiwan in 1968 and two years later DuPont Taiwan Chemicals Ltd. began manufacturing aluminum foil and Mylar at Chungli. A crop protection plant was also established at Lung Tan. But Kuan Yin dwarfs both sites.
The Taiwanese government approved the project in 1985, construction began in 1990, and in 1994 the $340 million plant went into full production. In addition to manufacturing TiO2, Kuan Yin also produces nylon yarns and purified terephthalic acid (PTA). The delay in building the plant stemmed from local concerns about possible environmental and health risks, but the start-up at Kuan Yin was flawless, and the plant has gone on to establish an outstanding safety and environmental record. Out of 7 million man-hours worked, not a day has been lost because of an accident, even though TiO2 production requires sophisticated occupational safety precautions. DuPont began training plant managers a full year before the groundbreaking, and company officials worked hard to combat a tendency among local workers to sacrifice safety for speed, assigning every employee to 1 of 23 “Tiger Teams” that tackle safety issues at work and at home.