12 September 2003 08:16 [Source: ICIS news]
SINGAPORE (CNI)--Showa Denko (SDK) and Kyowa Hakko Kogyo Co’s joint venture, Japan Ethyl Acetate Co, is on track to start up its 100 000 tonne/year ethyl acetate (EA) plant by April 2004, a Showa Denko spokesman told CNI on Thursday.
The new venture was incorporated earlier this month. It will be owned 55% by SDK and 45% by Kyowa.
Japan Ethyl Acetate will be capitalised at Yen400m ($3.41m/Euro3.05m). The company's board will have three directors from SDK and two from Kyowa.
The two companies will jointly invest around Yen2bn to convert a mothballed acetic acid plant into the EA plant at Oita, Japan. The former acetic acid plant (acetaldehyde process) was suspended in the summer of 2001.
SDK and Kyowa's proposal to establish the joint venture was approved by Japan's Fair Trade Commission (FTC) in early July.
EA demand is expected to continue to increase in Japan and other Asian countries for use as a solvent for paints. It is expected to replace such aromatics as toluene and xylene, the spokesman said.
SDK has been pursuing the possibility of starting a new EA production line in view of growing demand. It said it was considering the construction of an EA plant at its Oita Petrochemical Complex, although it did not confirm the proposed capacity or whether it would be a joint venture.
SDK is the largest EA manufacturer in Asia and the second largest in the world - next only to BP. It currently has annual EA production capacity of 200 000 tonne, consisting of 150 000 tonne at Tokuyama, Japan, and 50 000 tonne in Merak, Indonesia through its subsidiary, PT Showa Esterindo Indonesia. Kyowa Hakko operates a 42 000 tonne/year EA plant in Yokkaichi.
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