Thailand Expansions: Kuraray opens isoprene plant; Penn Color sets up masterbatch/colourant facility

Kuraray opens isoprene plant

Japanese chemical firm Kuraray Co., recently had an opening ceremony to commemorate the start of operations at a new plant for isoprene-related businesses in Thailand. The new 40 billion yen plant was constructed in the WHA Eastern Industrial Park within the petrochemical complex in Map Ta Phut, Rayong Province, Thailand, and was brought online in stages from February 2023.

Operated by Kuraray GC Advanced Materials Co., and Kuraray Advanced Chemicals (Thailand) Co., the plant will produce Genestar heat-resistant polyamide-9T (PA9T), Septon hydrogenated styrenic block copolymers (HSBC), and the 3-Methyl-1.5-Pentanediol (MPD), which were developed using proprietary Kuraray technology.

It will produce 13,000 tonnes/year of PA9T, 16,000 tonnes/year of HSBC and 5,000 tonnes/year of MPD.

The opening ceremony was attended by Kuraray President Kawahara and other associates of Kuraray, associates of Kuraray GC Advanced Materials, associates of Kuraray Advanced Chemicals, associates of Sumitomo Corporation, and associates of the government of Thailand’s Rayong Province. Addressing the assembly, President Kawahara stated, “The new Thai plant will contribute to the continued growth of isoprene-related businesses by strengthening the global supply system and meeting rising global demand for Genestar, Septon, and MPD.”

He also said the company will continue to proactively invest in growth-oriented projects to be a “specialty chemical company growing sustainably by incorporating new foundational platforms into its own technologies.”

Penn Color sets up masterbatch/colourant facility

In other news, US firm Penn Color has expanded its presence in Asia since the opening of its technology centre in Singapore in January, with the opening of a world-class facility in the Pluak Daeng Subdistrict, Rayong Province, Thailand. Situated in the heart of the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) and located near major industrial areas and the largest ports in Thailand, this new factory allows Penn Color to supply colourant and additive masterbatches to markets throughout the Asia-Pacific region.

“This state-of-the-art facility has been planned with remarkable levels of flexibility to meet the most demanding technical and quality requirements, for packaging, consumer goods, building products and transportation. We bring here decades of experience and our most advanced manufacturing techniques,” says Scott Stamback, VP Sales EMEA & Asia.

Specifically designed to allow for future expansion to meet the increasing demand in the APAC region and beyond, one of the most outstanding features of this facility is that it uses the most recent technology for energy efficiency of its primary equipment, including a major portion being powered by solar-generated electricity.

With the country’s strong customer base, availability of raw materials, industry expertise, and highly skilled workforce, Thailand is the ideal location to establish a manufacturing presence as the company further strengthens its footprint in Asia. Additionally, Thailand’s Board of Investment (BOI) is promoting policies that aim to advance the country’s development toward an Industry 4.0 standard, using modern technology and infrastructure to operate at the highest level of efficiency.

Penn Color adds it “is excited to be a part of this progression and is confident that the new Thailand plant will thrive as they work towards their goal of advancement and growth in the region”.

Penn Color’s new production plant in Thailand complements the company’s technology centre in Singapore, which was opened in January of this year. These two facilities were designed to play to their respective strengths, to provide together unmatched speed to market and flexibility.

Headquartered in Hatfield PA, US, Penn Color is a family-owned supplier of colours and functional additives in masterbatches and compounds for thermoplastics, as well as high performance pigment dispersions for inks & coatings. It serves applications for consumer goods, building and construction, transportation and infrastructure industries.


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