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Celanese and Mitsubishi Gas Chemical to restructure Korea Engineering Plastics JV

December 11/2020

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Celanese Corporation, a global chemical and specialty materials company, and Mitsubishi Gas Chemical Company, Inc. announced the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MOU) confirming their intent to restructure Korea Engineering Plastics Co. (KEP), a joint venture owned 50% by Celanese, 40% by MGC and 10% by Mitsubishi Corporation, said Chemweek.

Under the terms of the MOU, KEP would focus on manufacturing, developing, producing, and supplying high quality products to its shareholders, who would then independently market them globally and without restrictions. The MOU envisions a modernization of the scope of the KEP joint venture, which was formed in 1987 to manufacture and market polyoxymethylene (POM) in Asia, with a particular focus on serving domestic demand in Korea.

Celanese and MGC believe that focusing KEPs efforts on manufacturing and supplying its shareholders with a leading portfolio of innovative products is a necessary response to the globalization of the POM industry, the fragmentation of the marketing supply chain, and other changes in market conditions since KEP was first formed.

POM is one of the worlds most widely used engineered materials, known for its high dimensional stability, hardness and creep resistance. These unique qualities allow POM to be used as a broad replacement for metal parts. Along with its copolymer resins, POM is widely used as an engineering plastic across almost every industry.

The parties have also committed to increasing KEPs production capacity to improve the long-term security of supply to its customers and further support their growth. The increased volumes are expected to come on-stream in a series of steps in the coming years.

The parties expect the joint venture restructuring to be completed before the end of 2021, subject to customary closing conditions and any necessary regulatory approvals. KEP will continue to serve its customers, without change, until the restructuring is closed and will provide more information pertaining to the transition as details are finalized.

The partners of KEP are focused on ensuring KEPs customers will continue to be able to depend on a reliable supply of products and KEP will work closely with them on a plan to address any concerns in the coming months.

As MRC informed earlier, Mitsubishi Chemical has acquired a greenfield property at a large integrated site in Geismar, Louisiana, and plans to advance its feasibility study for the design and construction of a 350,000-metric tons/year methyl methacrylate (MMA) plant. The plant will be the third and largest to employ the Alpha production technology developed by subsidiary Lucite. The company earlier in March this year announced its intent to build the plant.

The main application, consuming approximately 75% MMA, is in the production of polymethyl methacrylate acrylic plastics (PMMA). Methyl methacrylate is also used to produce methyl methacrylate-butadiene-styrene copolymer (MBS), used as a modifier for polyvinyl chloride (PVC).

According to MRC's ScanPlast report, October total production of unmixed PVC grew to 86,600 tonnes from 86,000 tonnes a month earlier, SayanskKhimPlast and Bashkir Soda Company increased their capacity utilisation. Overall output of polymer was 805,100 tonnes in the first ten months of 2020, which virtually corresponds to the last year"s figure. Two producers increased their production, whereas two other manufacturers reduced their output.
Author:Anna Larionova
Tags:acryl, akrilonitril-stirol-akrilat (ASA), PVC, metilmetakrilat (MMA), metilamin, hlormetan, MMA (metilmetakrilat), Celanese, Mitsubishi Chemical.
Category:General News
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