MITSUI CHEMICALS
PP compounding starts in the Netherlands / Continued demand for automotive lightweighting
With Japanese precision, Mitsui Prime Advanced Composites Europe (ACE, Geleen / The Netherlands) has started up its new polypropylene compounding unit exactly as planned at the Chemelot Industrial Park in Geleen (see Plasteurope.com of 11.06.2018). The facility owned to 75% by Mitsui Chemicals (Tokyo / Japan; www.mitsuichem.com), to 10% by Prime Polymer (Tokyo; www.primepolymer.co.jp), Mitsui’s 65:35 joint venture with Idemitsu Kosan (Tokyo; www.idemitsu.com), and to 15% by Mitsui & Co, has capacity to turn out 30,000 t/y of compounds. The Dutch site, the Mitsui group’s first PP compounding operation in Europe, also houses sales, technology service and R&D functions.

With ACE, the joint venture said it will be able to provide effective lightweighting solutions to automakers and OEMs with bases in Europe while also responding to global demand growth. While forecasts point to reduced automotive production volume globally due to the ongoing impact of Covid-19, the partners expect global demand for automotive lightweighting to continue rising on the back of strengthening environmental regulations. They see no sign of a reversal in the upward trend for materials used to produce bumpers, instrument panels and other automotive parts.

Mitsui Chemicals’ goal is to become a global leader for automotive compounds. Currently, it has capacity to produce around 1.1m t/y of PP compound in eight major regions. In addition to the new site in the Chemelot park, it has 20,000 t/y of outsourced capacity in Europe. In the Americas, including Brazil, Mexico and the US, it can produce 440,000 t/y and 630,000 t/y on its Asian home turf, including China, India and Thailand in addition to Japan. The group said it is now moving to bolster its R&D, production and sales networks for high-quality PP automotive compounds.

During the recovery phase after the Covid crisis, Mitsui’s chemicals arm forecasts an upturn of 30% in the market for automotive PP compounds in India and ASEAN, 25% in Europe and the Americas, 20% in Japan and 15% in China. Amidst the crisis, the group has had to idle some of its production in the Americas and India and is adjusting some of its production in Thailand. In the US and Mexico, it is currently restarting some of the idled capacity.
22.06.2020 Plasteurope.com [245320-0]
Published on 22.06.2020
Mitsui: Start der PP-Compoundierung in den NiederlandenGerman version of this article...

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