11 March 2004 02:21 [Source: ICIS news]SINGAPORE (CNI)--Showa Denko (SDK) and Kyowa Hakko Kogyo Co are hoping to start up their new 100 000 tonne/year joint venture ethyl acetate (EA) plant at Oita, Japan, in May, a Showa Denko spokesman told CNI.
The two companies are targeting the end of April to complete construction of the EA facility.
The new venture, to be run by Japan Ethyl Acetate, has been capitalised at Yen400m ($3.59m/Euro2.88m). The company was incorporated in August last year and is owned 55% by SDK and 45% by Kyowa. Japan Ethyl Acetate's board has three directors from SDK and two from Kyowa.
The two companies have jointly invested around Yen2bn to convert a mothballed acetic acid plant into the new EA plant at Oita. Production at the former acetic acid plant, which used the acetaldehyde process, was suspended in the summer of 2001.
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 xylenes, the spokesman said.
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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