Honeywell, Morris Township, N.J., expects to have its new manufacturing plant for non--ozone-depleting refrigerants operational in China by November of this year.

The facility will serve as the production and service center in Asia for HFC refrigerants such as R-410A, R-407C and R-404A, which are environmentally friendlier alternatives to hydrochlorofluorocarbon and chlorofluorocarbon refrigerants being phased out globally as part of the 1990 Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer.

The Honeywell expansion follows the company's recent increase in HFC chemical manufacturing capacity in the United States, which included more than $200 million in new capital investment. The U.S. and Chinese facilities together will expand Honeywell's globally integrated supply system for refrigerants, with facilities in the United States providing some of the source materials to the Chinese plant. The new facility will blend and package finished products tailored to meet the rapidly expanding and unique needs of the air-conditioning and refrigeration industries in Asia.

"The availability and use of ozone-depleting products worldwide continue to shrink because of environmental regulation," said Richard Preziotti, vice president and general manager for Honeywell Chemicals. "Demand for environmentally friendlier HFC-based refrigerant blends, blowing agents and other products is increasing in Asia due to domestic growth, regional environmental regulations, and the growing number of equipment manufacturers expanding or relocating production of their products in China and throughout Southeast Asia."