Huntsman Chemical Corp. and GE Plastics have announced a joint venture to be based at GE's facilities in Bay St. Louis, Miss.

The new venture, called GEH III, will purchase and expand General Electric's styrene acrylonitrile facility. Scheduled to begin early next year, the expansion will increase the plant's capacity by more than 50 percent.Styrene acrylonitrile, or SAN, currently produced at this location is used by GE Plastics in the production of its Cycolac line of resin. GE will use part of the increased capacity to meet anticipated growth in demand for its Cycolac G series of resin.

Ron Rasband, Huntsman president, said SAN is used by GE Plastics as a feed stock for another plastic called ABS. ABS is a highly engineered plastic and used in such products as computer housings, televisions, refrigerators and automobiles.

Huntsman Chemical will add SAN products to its existing line of polymers for sale in the regular marketplace.

This is the first joint venture by GE Plastics and Huntsman to produce SAN. GE plans to form similar ventures with Huntsman in SAN expansion in Singapore and Spain.