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Mitsui expanding urethanes facilities

By Patrick Raleigh, UT On-line/news editorTokyo-Mitsui Chemicals Inc. plans to increase its production of MDI (methylene diphenyl diisocyanate) in South Korea and urethane prepolymers in Malaysia, the group said in its 2004 annual report.In February, Mitsui said it was studying a plan to expand its Korean Kumho Mitsui Chemicals Inc. operation-a 50:50 joint venture with Kumho Petrochemical Co. Under the plan, capacity of the unit at Yeochon would rise 20 percent to 60 kilotonnes per annum (ktpa) from 2005.The Japanese group is also to double the capacity of its 8-ktpa Malaysian urethane prepolymers operation over the next 12 months, the annual statement revealed. Mitsui has an 81-percent stake in the Port Klang-based Cosmo Scientex (M) Sdn Bhd plant, which supplies adhesive materials for food packaging applicationsBoth projects are part of a programme to expand Mitsui’s Performance Polymers business under a new medium-term business plan. The plan, to 2008, is intended to increase the Japanese group’s focus on speciality products. Mitsui’s commitment to its urethanes business was also highlighted with the October 2003 start-up of a 60-ktpa TDI (toluene diisocyanate) plant it its Kashima Works in Japan. The group also operates an older 60-ktpa TDI unit at the same site and a 120-ktpa TDI facility at its Omuta Works, Japan.Tokyo-based Mitsui operates its urethanes business though Mitsui Takeda Chemicals Inc. (MTCI)-a 51:49 joint venture between Mitsui Chemical Inc. and Takeda Chemical Industries Ltd. Majority partner Mitsui is scheduled to become sole owner of MTCI in 2006.”

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