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AMERICAN PACIFIC BREAKS GROUND FOR SODIUM AZIDE PLANT

 AMERICAN PACIFIC BREAKS GROUND FOR SODIUM AZIDE PLANT
 LAS VEGAS, Dec. 11 /PRNewswire/ -- American Pacific Corp.


(NASDAQ: APFC) broke ground for its $40 million sodium azide manufacturing plant in Iron County, Utah, today, Fred D. Gibson Jr., chairman and chief executive officer, announced today.
 Financing commitments for the plant have been obtained from a major state employees pension fund and another major institutional investor. It is expected that definitive agreements will be signed and the arrangements finalized later this month.
 The plant will have a capacity of 2,000 metric tons-per-year of sodium azide, the principal chemical used in the inflation of automotive air bag safety systems. The plant will include nine buildings totaling approximately 40,000 square feet and employ between 40-45 people. Initial production of sodium azide for testing and qualification purposes is anticipated for the summer of 1992. Sales of commercial quantities of sodium azide are expected later that year.
 American Pacific entered into a license agreement and related agreement with Dynamit Nobel AG of Germany in July 1990 granting the company an exclusive license in North America on Dynamit Nobel's most advanced sodium azide production technology and know-how. There is no other U.S. producer of sodium azide.
 Expected to attend the ground-breaking in Iron County, near Cedar City, are members of state government as well as the Cedar City Council, the Iron County commission and local state legislators. Representatives of interested industrial firms are also expected.
 American Pacific's WECCO subsidiary is currently operating an ammonium perchlorate plant in Iron County. The company is one of two qualified U.S. suppliers for this compound, which serves as the oxidizing agent in solid rocket fuel.
 Gibson commented: "This sodium azide plant is an important step in our drive to expand our specialty chemicals business, which is a key element in our company's growth strategy. The rapid growth in the market for automotive air bag systems should spur the expansion of this new business segment.
 "At the same time, American Pacific remains committed to pursuing another substantial opportunity in specialty chemicals through its Halotron agreement. Halotron is intended to replace ozone-depleting halon in fire extinguishment systems worldwide and we see this as another important market opportunity with exceptional potential."
 American Pacific's principal business activities consist of the production of ammonium perchlorate, the oxidizer utilized in composite solid rocket propellants employed by a large number of space and military systems. Through direct and indirect subsidiaries, the company is engaged in the manufacture of perchlorate chemicals, design and manufacture of electrolytic systems and electrodes, the design and manufacture of pollution control systems, and industrial real estate development. It will be engaging in the manufacture of sodium azide, and intends to manufacture Halotron, a fire extinguishing agent expected to replace ozone- depleting halons.
 -0- 12/11/91
 /CONTACT: C. Keith Rooker, executive VP of American Pacific Corp., 702-735-2200/
 (APFC) CO: American Pacific Corp. ST: California IN: CHM SU:


CH-AL -- LA009 -- 1486 12/11/91 12:51 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Dec 11, 1991
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