Grace Construction Products, an operating segment of W. R. Grace & Co. (NYSE: GRA), opened new manufacturing facilities in Cartagena, Colombia and Panama City, Panama this week.

With these new facilities, Grace Construction Products is expanding its already extensive footprint in Latin America – an emerging region that is key to the company’s growth strategy. In 2010, Grace sales from emerging regions (as defined by the International Monetary Fund) were 33% of the company’s total revenue, an increase from 29% in 2009.

“We continue to invest in emerging economies to capitalize on double-digit industry growth rates,” said Fred Festa, Chairman, President and CEO of Grace. “Through the opening of plants like the ones in Panama City and Cartagena, we are leveraging our deep industry knowledge and product innovation to build new long-term customer relationships.”

Both facilities will manufacture cement additives and concrete admixtures, enhancing service and delivery times to customers in Colombia, Panama and throughout Central America and the Caribbean. Grace’s cement additives help cement producers improve cement quality, reduce manufacturing costs and produce in more energy-efficient ways. The company’s concrete admixtures help concrete producers manufacture high strength and durable concrete. The facilities will also house sales and technical service offices, as well as quality control laboratories.

These facilities are the latest in a series of emerging market investments for Grace in the construction industry. In 2010, the company opened new manufacturing sites in Hai Duong, Vietnam; Chongqing, China, and Dammam, Saudi Arabia and acquired manufacturing facilities in Wuhan, China.

The address for the new Colombia site is: Grace Colombia S.A., Paraquiamérica, Mamonal Km 6 carretera Cospique-Pasacaballos, Bodegas 4 y 5 Manzana G, Cartagena, Colombia. The phone number is +57.5.6930230.

Grace entered the Colombian market in 1972 with a sales office. In 1988, the company opened a manufacturing facility in Bogota, where Grace’s other operating segment, Grace Davison, manufactures plastisols, lubricants, thinners and coatings.

Grace’s Panamanian subsidiary was founded in 2010. The contact information for the new site is: W. R. Grace (Panama), S.A., Local #4, Flex #2, Andrews Boulevard and Stauffer Avenue, Antigua Base Aérea de Howard, Panamá Pacifico, Panama City, Republic of Panama. The phone number is +507.301.1845

Grace has a lengthy history in Latin America. The company was established in Peru in 1854 and inaugurated steamship service between New York and the west coast of South America in 1890.