Japan's Nihon Oxirane to end Chiba SM, PO, PG ops by May '15

27 November 2013 10:00  [Source: ICIS news]

(recast with additional information on Chiba Works cracker closure in seventh paragraph)

TOKYO (ICIS)--Nihon Oxirane’s production of styrene monomer (SM), propylene oxide (PO) and propylene glycol (PG) at Chiba Works in Japan will end by May 2015, the top executive of the company’s parent firm Sumitomo Chemical said on Wednesday.

Nihon Oxirane – which is  60:40 joint venture between Sumitomo Chemical and Lyondell Basell – can produce 425,000 tonnes/year of SM, 181,000 tonnes/year of PO and 100,000 tonnes/year PG at Sodegaura in Chiba prefecture.

The joint venture company will halt sales of these chemicals by May 2015, Sumitomo Chemical president Masakazu Tokura said at a press conference.

Sumitomo Chemical further plans to buy out its partner in the joint venture in December 2013, to make Nihon Oxirane a wholly owned subsidiary.

The move is part of Sumitomo Chemical’s efforts to restructure its businesses to respond to declining domestic petrochemical demand, Tokura said.

The company, however, plans to continue manufacturing PO at its other 200,000 tonne/year PO unit at Chiba Works, Tokura said.

In February 2013, the company announced it would permanently shut its 415,000 tonne/year cracker at Chiba Works by September 2015. However on Wednesday, Tokura said Sumitomo Chemical would bring this closure forward to May 2015.

In April 2012, Sumitomo Chemical has exited from Chiba Styrene Monomer, its former joint venture with Denka.

By: Tomomi Yokomura
+65 6780 4359

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