By Patrick Raleigh UT On-line news editorTokyo-Asahi Kasei Fibers Corp. is investing Yen3000 million ($27 million) to establish a 2500 tonne/year spandex yarn plant in Thailand, Asahi said 21 Oct. The plant will be located in the SAHA Group Industrial Park, Sriracha District, about 100 km southeast of Bangkok and is due for start-up in September 2004.The facility will be operated by a newly formed joint venture, called Thai Asahi Kasei Spandex Co. Ltd (TAS). Asahi owns 60 percent of shares in TAS, with the remainder held by investment firms SAHA Group, 21 percent, and Wacoal 19 percent. The Thai unit, Asahi’s third overseas production and sales venture for its Roica-branded spandex business will help meet growing demand particularly in the ASEAN markets, the Japanese group said. The company already operates Formosa Asahi Spandex in Taiwan, a JV with Formosa Plastics Corp., which started up in 2000 with a capacity of 5000 t/yr for Roica and 10 000 t/yr for PTMEG (polytetramethylene ether glycol)-the main feedstock for spandex filament.In China, Asahi operates Hangzhou Asahi Kasei Spandex (HAS), which started production in 2003 with an initial capacity of 1300 t/yr for Roica filament. The unit’s capacity is slated to eventually rise to 5000 t/yr. “
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