09 February 2004 00:01 [Source: ACN]
THE increased competition from natural products such as palm oil has forced Mitsubishi Chemical to quit the part of its higher-alcohols business that caters to toiletry companies, a company source told ACN.
Mitsubishi will shut its 35 000 tonne/year plant in Yokkaichi, which has been running at 71% of capacity for the last six months, in August. The plant produces three grades of linear alcohol ethoxylates: C12/C13 alcohol, C14/C15 alcohol and a mixture of C12/C13 and C14/C15, all of which are used mainly in the production of chemical cleaners and stain removers. The source said sales of the plant’s products would cease in September.
He added that Mitsubishi had another plant in Mizushima producing higher alcohols, but added that these were different grades that could be used to produce not only cleaners but also softeners and plasticisers.
The 30 000 tonne/year Mizushima plant, he said, used ethylene-alpha olefin feedstock and Mitsubishi’s own technlogy, while the Yokkaichi plant used normal-paraffin feedstock and technology licensed from Shell.
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