Japan's Idemitsu Kosan starts up resin compouding plant in China

23 March 2010 11:56  [Source: ICIS news]

TOKYO (ICIS news)--Japanese refiner Idemitsu Kosan has started commercial production at its new polycarbonate (PC)/syndiotactic polystyrene (SPS)/polyphenylene sulphide (PPS) plant at Guangzhou in China after a five-month delay, a company official said on Tuesday.

"[The factory] has been operating since the beginning of March, and we confirmed last week that [the facility] is now producing stably," the official said in Japanese.

The plant would initially produce only PC, the official said, adding that production of SPS and PPS would begin by late 2010 or early 2011.

The plant's PC capacity – which is currently two-thirds of 10,000 tonnes/year – would be raised to 10,000 tonnes/year by adding an extruder to the two existing ones by May, the official said.

In 2011, the combined capacity of PC, SPS and PPS would be raised to 20,000 tonnes/year, the official said, without providing specific capacity for each product.

"It will depend on demand at any given time [for each product], but we will mainly produce PC," the official added.

The resin compounding plant was originally scheduled to start commercial production in October 2009, but was postponed due to the delay in getting approval from the Chinese government, the official said.

When Idemitsu Kosan started construction of the plant in June 2008, demand for PC, SPS and PPS in China and elsewhere in Asia was growing at 20% per annum, the company had said at the time of the first announcement.

"Demand declined since then due to the global economic crisis, but we are feeling that during the past several months from the end of last year to the beginning of this year, demand has recovered," the official said.

PC is used for liquid crystal display (LCD) panels and has other electric and electronic applications.

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By: Tomomi Yokomura
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