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Japanese PP suppliers boost capacity for automotive grade compounds

Japanese PP suppliers boost capacity for automotive grade compounds
Mitsui Chemicals and affiliate Prime Polymer have started up new capacity for polypropylene compounds in the United States, Mexico and India.

Growing demand for PP compounds in North America and the Indian subcontinent is being driven by high levels of auto production. The US assembled 12.2 million vehicles in 2016, up 0.8% year-on-year, while Mexico recorded production of 3.6 million, up 0.9%, and Canada 2.37 million, up 3.8%. Indian production, meanwhile, was up by 7.9% in 2016 to almost 4.5 million vehicles. Further, growth in PP usage in vehicles tends to outstrip growth in vehicle unit production. This trend has prompted the latest investment to serve applications such as bumpers, instrument panels, and other lightweight components prompted by regulatory and industry initiatives

Mitsui Chemicals Group is expanding to serve growing demand for PP compounds in the auto sector.

The Mitsui Chemicals Group currently has eight global production sites (Japan, USA, Mexico, Europe, Thailand, China, India, and Brazil) and R&D facilities in five areas (Japan, USA, Europe, Thailand, and China) for auto-grade PP compounds.

Concretely speaking, two additional compounding lines have being added at Advanced Composites, Inc., which operates in Sidney, OH, and Nashville, TN, while an additional line will also be installed at Advanced Composites Mexicana, S.A. de C.V., thereby boosting overall capacity from 410,00o tonnes/yr to 440, 000 tonnes/year. One line has also been added at Mitsui Prime Advanced Composites India, boosting total capacity in Asia from 575,000 tonnes/yr to 590,000 tonnes/yr, including the 310,000 tonnes/yr of PP auto compound production capability the group has in its home market of Japan.

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