Plants: Ineos Styrolution/Sinopec inaugurate ABS facility in China; Mitsui Chemicals to stop production of PET at Yamaguchi plant

Ineos Styrolution/Sinopec inaugurate ABS facility in China

Styrenics firm Ineos Styrolution has officially opened a new world-scale ABS facility located in Ningbo, China, together with its joint venture partner Sinopec. The facility, which uses Ineos Styrolution’s Terluran ABS technology, has an annual nameplate capacity of 600,000 tonnes for the world’s largest ABS market.

The construction of this ABS facility in Ningbo started in end 2020. Spanning across 26.7 ha, with more than 360 employees and contractors, this facility will produce ABS materials that advance the design and functionality of many applications across numerous industry sectors including automotive, electronics, household, healthcare and toys/sports/leisure, for the rapidly growing domestic market in China.

The official opening ceremony was attended by Caroline Wilson DCMG, British Ambassador to China and Hua Wei, Executive Vice Mayor, Ningbo Municipal People's Government, among other institutional representatives.

“Ineos Styrolution is committed to growing in China, the world’s largest ABS market,” said Steve Harrington, CEO Ineos Styrolution. “The completion of our new ABS facility in Ningbo using our world class Terluran® ABS technology is an important milestone, as we embark on a new stage in this exciting journey with Sinopec to further strengthen our position in the Chinese ABS market.”

Rob Buntinx, President APAC at Ineos Styrolution, said: “The facility inauguration today represents another important step in our ongoing commitment to our customers and partners in the Chinese market. We are strategically located closely to our customers, enabling us to respond to local demands more quickly and efficiently, while significantly reducing the delivery times.”

“This facility was constructed under a challenging environment in the midst of a global pandemic. Its successful unveiling today reflects the unwavering support from the Government authorities and the tenacious “can-do” attitude of the entire project and operations team,” added Meizhu Fang, CEO, Ineos Styrolution Sinopec Advanced Materials (Ningbo) Ltd. 

Mitsui Chemicals to stop production of PET at Yamaguchi plant

In other news Japan’s Mitsui Chemicals announced that it intends to close its 140,000 tonnes/year PET plant within Iwakuni-Ohtake Works in October 2024, due to cheap PET imports into the country.

Mitsui Chemicals began producing PET resin at Iwakuni-Ohtake Works in 1984, from which point on the company steadily grew its PET business in line with rising domestic demand for PET drink bottles.

Since 2013, however, Japan has seen a rise in imports of cheap PET from overseas, as well as growing demand for recycled PET bottles that do not require virgin resin – a combination of factors that has forced Mitsui Chemicals to lower the facility operating rate of its PET business.

Against this backdrop, Mitsui Chemicals says it attempted a wide range of streamlining initiatives to save the business, but has now determined that it is no longer feasible to secure a profit from domestic PET resin production.


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