Iksan is, among other things, a major rail junction in South Korea, and marks one of the places where, more than 500 years ago, the country stopped being a predominantly Buddhist nation and moved to Confucianism. It is also, in polyurethane terms, a site of catalyst development. Simon Robinson visited Sehotech to find out more.
Sehotech is developing a new range of bismuth catalysts for the polyurethane industry and is in the process of getting them approved, said Min-Gyu Kim, director at the company.
The business, which started operation in Ulsan in Korea’s south-east corner, opened a facility in in Iksan, in the west of the country, because it wanted to expand with new products, Kim explained.
‘It was difficult to do this on the existing cramped site in Ulsan,’ Kim explained. The Iksan site now handles higher volume polyester polyol production.
There are 30 people employed in Iksan on a 15,000 m2 site, and a further 15 work on the 12,000 m2 site in Ulsan.
Sehotech chose Iksan as the location for the new plant because it has good transport links, is a Korean rail hub, and is still largely rural with rice a widespread crop. The area is unusual in Korea because it is very flat.
The company converts diethylene glycol into polyester polyols at Iksan. It uses 10 suppliers, and distils all the materials into 16 fractions which are then processed further in eight batch reactors with capacities ranging between 3 and 15 tonnes.
While Iksan is the…