27 May 1996 00:00 [Source: ACN]
MITSUI Petrochemical Industries (MPI) will team up with Sumitomo Chemical to produce its planned 200 000 tonne/year of metallocene polyethylene in Chiba, Japan. The project is expected to be completed at the.end of 1997 or early 1998.
MPI said it will give part of its offtake to Sumitomo, but ruled out a formal joint venture.
It declined to reveal what portion will be given, and details of the partnership. The tie-up will help to reduce investment risks as well as strengthen MPI's foothold in the market, an MPI spokesman told ACN.
Sumitomo affirmed that the partnership will not be a joint venture. It will only collaborate in sales and production, a Sumitomo official said, but declined to elaborate.
MPI earlier said there were plans to export the product to Asia, although the main market is Japan. Mitsubishi Chemical, Tosoh and Japan Polyolefin are also keen to cash in on the metallocene PE technology.
The demand for metallocene PE stands at an estimated 3000-4000 tonne/year in Japan (ACN 20 May, p48).
The project will use MPI's gas-phase PE technology and Exxon Chemical's metallocene-catalyst process. Both companies can license the technology worldwide, but MPI has control of Japan and the East Asian region, while Exxon controls the US.
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