Japan's Mitsui Chemicals to shut TDI at Kashima and entire plant

06 February 2014 13:12 Source:ICIS News

TOKYO (ICIS)--Japanese chemical producer Mitsui Chemicals plans to shut its 117,000 tonne/year toluene di-isocyanate (TDI) facility at Kashima in Japan and permanently close the entire plant by the end of December 2016 to restructure its polyurethane (PU) business, the company president said on Thursday.

The company also plans to shut its 60,000 tonne/year methyl di-p-phenylene isocyanate (MDI) plant at Omuta, Fukuoka, prefecture, at the same time, president Toshikazu Tanaka said at a press conference.

The company had decided to shut the TDI and the MDI plants because its profits for the businesses were stagnant due to the weak market prices, and these two plants were not internationally competitive, he said.

The more competitive 120,000 tonne/year TDI plant at Omuta and the 200,000 tonne/year MDI facility at Kumho Mitsui Chemicals in South Korea will remain on line, Tanaka said. 

The other production facilities at Kashima, which will be shut along with the TDI unit, include the 2,400 tonne/year special isocyanates, 32,000 tonne/year maleic acid and 15,000 tonne/year fumaric acid plants, according to Tanaka.

In a similar move, Mitsui Chemicals plans to permanently shut its 250,000 tonne/year phenol/acetone plant in Chiba by the end of September 2014, and its 90,000 tonne/year bisphenol A (BPA) plant in Ichihara by the end of March 2014, Tanaka said.

Phenols and BPA businesses were not profitable because of a decline in domestic demand and the worsening of market prices, driven by the rush of new plants in China being built by their competitors, he said. 

Meanwhile, Mitsui Chemicals expects to incur an operating loss of yen (Y) 23bn in the full year to 31 March 2014, Tanaka said.

The company’s efforts to restructure its PU, phenols and purified terephthalic acid (PTA) businesses is expected to result in a reduction of Y14bn in operating loss by the end of March 2015, Tanaka added.

By Tomomi Yokomura