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MCI to strengthen added-value ethylene derivative products of Ichihara
Feb '09
Mitsui Chemicals Inc.,(MCI) announced that it will enhance the value of its ethylene products manufactured at Ichihara Works as a measure to compete against ethylene products produced with competitive ethane gas from the Middle East.

Termination of Ichihara EOG Plant
Ethylene glycol (EG) is used as material for polyester fiber and antifreeze. Market conditions for domestic EG are expected to become extremely dull due to large supplies of EG coming from numerous plants newly established in the Middle East and Asia.

MCI produces EG and ethylene oxide (EO), a main material of EG, at the same facility(“EOG Plant”). MCI currently operates EOG Plants at its Ichihara Works and Osaka Works. At Ichihara EOG Plant, production ratio of EG is larger than that of the Osaka EOG Plant, and the production ratio is unlikely to improve in the future. As a result, MCI has decided to terminate production at its Ichihara Works EOG Plant (EO production volume: 119,000 tons/annum) in November 2009.

Current clientele have been asked to procure EG from overseas sources. MCI will continue to supply EO which has a stable market demand as a surfactant and which cannot be readily supplied from Middle East sources due to difficulty in transport. MCI will use other manufacturers for the production of EO and expects to be able to continue its stable supply to clientele.

MCI will continue EG and EO production at its Osaka Works. At the Osaka EOG Plant, production ratio of EO is high at 65% and efforts are being made to improve the ratio and intensify operation stability by promoting the relocation of clientele to areas within the Osaka Works, etc.

The 80,000 tons of ethylene used at the Ichihara Works EOG Plant per annum will be diverted to production of value-added products following closure of the production facility.

New Facilities for Value-Added Products
MCI will construct a new 1-hexene plant at Ichihara Works. The new plant will use 40,000 tons per annum of the ethylene surplus of the terminated EOG Plant.

Mitsui Chemicals Inc

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