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Kraton Performance Polymers Continues Asian Expansion Strategy

SHANGHAI, China and HOUSTON, March 26, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Kraton Performance Polymers, Inc. (NYSE: KRA), a leading global producer of styrenic block copolymers or "SBCs," is advancing its Asian expansion strategy to support the needs of new and existing customers. Kraton continues to offer a strong presence in the Asia Pacific region through its technology and investment in additional resources to support tremendous growth in the region.

"We are committed to our customers in China and the Asia Pacific region," said Kevin M. Fogarty, President & CEO, Kraton Performance Polymers. "Kraton will continue to expand its technology and service offerings as we work with our customers to meet their needs and help them grow," he added. 

Kraton is fully engaged in the formation of a 50/50 joint venture with Formosa Petrochemical Corporation to construct and operate a 30-kiloton hydrogenated styrenic block copolymer ("HSBC") plant in Mailiao, Taiwan. The plant will employ state-of-the-art technology and support global demand for Kraton's differentiated HSBCs. It will also provide significant, additional supply capability, and will set a new global standard for efficiency and product quality for HSBCs. Plant operation is expected in the first half of 2014.

In 2011, Kraton expanded its Cariflex™ isoprene rubber (IR) latex capacity to support the continued growth in demand for Cariflex products. The company has also executed a contract with its manufacturing provider in Japan, which will result in a doubling of Cariflex latex manufacturing capacity in Japan by mid-2013.

To further support Kraton's customers and the expansions listed above, the company recently opened a new innovation center in Shanghai, China. The facility is three times larger than the previous facility and better accommodates its technical staff, which has doubled over the past eighteen months. The new, state-of-the-art laboratory builds upon Kraton's capabilities including wet chemistry, flame testing and rubber processing. These advances will enhance Kraton's ability to serve existing and new customers in all segments of SBCs as well as Cariflex IR and IR latex.

For additional information about Kraton's investments in Asia Pacific, please contact H. Gene Shiels at or 281-504-4886.

About Kraton Polymers

Kraton Performance Polymers, Inc., through its operating subsidiary Kraton Polymers LLC and its subsidiaries, is a leading global producer of engineered polymers and styrenic block copolymers ("SBCs"), a family of products whose chemistry was pioneered by us almost fifty years ago. SBCs are highly-engineered thermoplastic elastomers, which enhance the performance of numerous products by delivering a variety of attributes, including greater flexibility, resilience, strength, durability and processability. Our polymers are used in a wide range of applications, including adhesives, coatings, consumer and personal care products, sealants and lubricants, and medical, packaging, automotive, paving, roofing and footwear products. We currently offer approximately 800 products to more than 700 customers in over 60 countries worldwide, and are the only SBC producer with manufacturing and service capabilities on four continents. We manufacture products at five plants globally, including our flagship plant in Belpre, Ohio, as well as plants in Germany, France and Brazil, and a joint venture plant operated in Japan.

Forward Looking Statements

This press release may contain "forward-looking statements," which are statements other than statements of historical fact and are often characterized by the use of words such as "believes," "expects," "estimates," "projects," "may," "will," "intends," "plans" or "anticipates," or by discussions of strategy, anticipated performance, plans or intentions. All forward-looking statements in this press release are made based on management's current expectations and estimates, which involve risks, uncertainties and other factors that could cause results to differ materially from those expressed in forward-looking statements. These risks and uncertainties are more fully described in "Part I. Item 1A. Risk Factors" contained in our Annual Report on 10-K, as filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission and as subsequently updated in our Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q. We hereby make reference to all such filings for all purposes. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on forward-looking statements. We assume no obligation to update such information.

Kraton, the Kraton logo and design, Cariflex, Nexar and the "Giving Innovators their Edge" tagline are all trademarks of Kraton Polymers LLC.

© Kraton Performance Polymers, Inc. 2012.  All rights reserved.


For Further Information:
Kraton Performance Polymers, Inc.
Media: Marcie Coronado +1-281-504-4975
Investors: H. Gene Shiels +1-281-504-4886

SOURCE Kraton Performance Polymers, Inc.

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