Japanese expansions: Mitsui Chemicals to increase capacity for PU dispersions; Kureha to boost PVDF production

Mitsui Chemicals to increase capacity for PU dispersions

Japan’s Mitsui Chemicals says that it will increase its production capacity for polyurethane dispersions (PUDs) to meet demand for mono-material food packaging, which is on the rise amid the growing need for sustainability. Specifically, the Shimizu Factory of Mitsui Chemicals – a wholly owned subsidiary of Mitsui Chemicals – will expand its PUD production facilities. The move is expected to approximately double domestic production capacity. Construction is slated to commence in February 2024 and operational launch is expected in June 2025.

Takeluc PUDs are water-based resins that offer heat resistance, high-temperature gas barrier performance and fastness to rubbing. As environmentally friendly products, they are used extensively in the paint and coating materials, adhesives, binders, resin modifiers, sizing agent and textile processing sectors.

Recent years have seen the rising need for sustainability drive growing demand for PUDs – especially in Europe – as barrier coating materials for use in recyclable mono-material food packaging. And with demand for mono-material packaging expected to continue rising, Mitsui Chemicals says it is looking to respond by proactively bolstering its supply network.

Meanwhile in other news, another Japanese firm Kureha Corporation has announced its plan to increase production capacity for polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF) at its Iwaki Factory in Fukushima, Japan.  The completion of facility construction will be 2026, with a capacity of 8,000 tonnes/year, in line with its goal for 30,000-40,000-tonne production capacity to be achieved by FY2030.

PVDF is used as a binder material for lithium-ion batteries (LiBs) and as an engineering plastic in various industrial applications. In recent years, as electric vehicles rapidly expand on the back of heightened environmental awareness, demand for LiB binder is robust and growing in the automotive market. 

Kureha to boost PVDF production

The Kureha group currently manufactures PVDF at the Iwaki factory in Japan (6,000 tonnes/year) and its wholly-owned subsidiary in China (5,000 tonnes/year).

To address growing customer demand and further expand the PVDF business, which is the most promising business at the group, Kureha says it will undertake a capacity expansion project.

This project involves technologies to reduce the impact of manufacturing operations on the environment and is carried out with the group’s largest ever investment, it adds.


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