Rising oil and gas prices have hit the acrylic industry’s profit margins, prompting the firm to develop cheaper production techniques using technology developed in its research and development centre in Singapore.

The state-of-the-art factory promises to supply 100,000 tonnes of acetate a year at much lower cost than existing technology.

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Lucite was created by the 1993 merger of acrylics businesses of Dupont and ICI, and made revenues of about $17m last year employing 2000 staff across 10 countries.