Plants: JPP/IRPC PP compound in Thailand starts up; Nouryon to set up microspheres facility in US

Plants: JPP/IRPC PP compound in Thailand starts up; Nouryon to set up microspheres facility in US

The Thai subsidiary of Japanese resin maker Japan Polypropylene (JPP) and 50:50 joint venture partner petrochemical firm IRPC Public Co Thailand have started up commercial operations of a 140,000-tonne/year polypropylene (PP) compounding plant in Chonburi Province, Thailand. The compounding plant will utilise raw material from a 300,000-tonne/year PP polymerisation plant located upstream.

JPP also said it would shut down a 70,000-tonne/year PP polymerisation train located at Kashima, Japan, early next year. These developments highlight JPP’s strategy of rolling out a global PP compounds network targeting automotive applications.

In March this year, Tokyo-based JPP, under Mitsubishi Chemical Corp., sold a 50% stake in Mytex Polymers (Thailand) Co., its wholly owned subsidiary to IRPC, a subsidiary of Thailand's state-backed oil firm PTT Public Co.

Mytex Polymers (Thailand) produces polypropylene compounds for automotive parts in the Amata City Chonburi Industrial Estate in the province of Chonburi, southeast of Bangkok.

The new partnership was created after studying further collaboration with IRPC, to which the Japanese company currently licenses its products, to strengthen its business in Southeast Asia.

JPP has around 220,000 tonnes/year production capacity of PP compound overseas, and 1million tonnes/year of capacity within Japan.

Plants: JPP/IRPC PP compound in Thailand starts up; Nouryon to set up microspheres facility in US

Meanwhile, in other news, chemical firm Nouryon has selected Green Bay, Wisconsin, US, as the location for a new facility to produce its Expancel expandable microspheres. The expansion project, which was announced last year strengthens the company’s position in expandable microspheres, which are used to make customers’ end products lighter and reduce costs, it adds.

“This new plant will meet the fast-growing demand for Expancel. We are excited to better serve our customers throughout the Americas as well as other parts of the world,” said Sylvia Winkel Pettersson, Vice President for Expancel at Nouryon. “The first step will be the start of initial production in Green Bay in October 2020; this will be followed by further increases over the next several years,” she said.

Expandable microspheres are used by customers as a lightweight filler and blowing agent to make end products lighter and obtain different surface effects. They also reduce costs and environmental impacts by requiring less raw material. Key end-use markets include the automotive, construction, packaging and mining industries.

“The ability to create lightweight products with Expancel, such as polymer parts and coatings, presents tremendous growth opportunities as customers drive to implement improved sustainable solutions,” said Johan Landfors, President of Technology Solutions at Nouryon. “This investment complements our production sites in Sweden, Brazil and China and ensures that our customers worldwide can rely on us to support the growth of their business.”


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