MELBOURNE (ICIS)--Japan’s Showa Denko has achieved on-spec output after starting up its new 100,000 tonne/year ethyl acetate (etac) plant at its Oita complex on Tuesday, a company spokesperson said.
The company is in the process of ramping up the plant’s operating rate to full capacity from about 60% currently, the spokesperson said.
The project was announced by the company in August 2013.
The new etac plant uses Showa Denko’s proprietary production process technology, which adds acetic acid directly to ethylene, enabling efficient production of high-quality etac, according to a statement posted on its website.
“While the technology is already being used at our production site in Indonesia, this is the first time that the technology is commercially used in Japan,” the company said in the statement.
The new technology differs from the conventional two-stage process in which acetaldehyde, synthesised from ethylene, is converted into etac, according to the statement.
Showa Denko plans to idle its existing 100,000 tonne/year etac plant later in 2014, a separate company spokesperson said in May.
In addition to its two units in Japan, Showa Denko operates a 50,000 tonne/year etac plant at Merak in Indonesia.