Ashland Casting Solutions Opens St. Petersburg Office

Office and distribution agreement part of effort to expand in Russia

April 14, 2006 --Ashland Casting Solutions has opened a new office in St. Petersburg in an effort to respond to growing demand for metalcasting products and services in Russia. ACS is a business group of Ashland Specialty Chemical, a division of Ashland Inc.

“We are extremely excited about entering the Russian market with a great line of casting products,” said Mike Swartzlander, vice president, Ashland Specialty Chemical, and general manager, Ashland Casting Solutions. “We have been very active in our efforts to build our business in Russia.”

The new office was opened in conjunction with a non-exclusive distribution agreement between Ashland Casting Solutions and Composite Trade LLC of St. Petersburg, a joint effort to introduce Ashland binder and refractory coating products to Russian metalcasters.

Composites Trade LLC is a large Russian supplier of equipment and raw materials for manufacturing composite materials (e.g., fiberglass, cultured marble, solid surface and other materials), polymeric coatings, and polyurethane foam spray.

Ashland’s Anna Utkina and Vitaly Milekhin will oversess the new ACS office in St. Petersburg. Its initial product offerings will be refractory coatings, ISOCURE®, PEPSET®, and ISOSET® resin binders, and furan no-bake binders.

“We’re very pleased by the opportunity to offer our modern technology and products to enhance the efficiency of the foundry industry in Russia and the Commonwealth of Independent States,” said Philip Vernon, commercial director, emerging markets, Ashland Casting Solutions. The St. Petersburg office of ACS may be contacted at Tel. +7-812-332-5604.

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