Mitsui Chemicals wholly-owned subsidiary Mitsui Elastomers Singapore Pte Ltd, is set to raise its production capacity for its Tafmer polyolefin plastomers and elastomers (POEs/POPs). The company will add 25,000 tonnes/year of capacity at its Singapore site, thereby boosting current capacity of 200,000 tonnes/year at two lines to 225,000 tonnes/year, tentatively by July 2020.
|Specialty elastomer capacity is being added by Mitsui Chemicals at it production site in Singapore.|
Tafmer products are used widely in polypropylene (PP) compound modification in the auto sector. Tafmer is also seeing expanded use in solar panel encapsulants, where it is replacing ethylene vinyl acetate (EVA) resin, as well as impact modification of engineering plastics such as polyamide (PA), and in sports shoe midsoles, where it also replaces EVA resin. Another key application is heat seal applications in packaging.
The auto sector in particular is driving growth in Tafmer demand as tightening environmental regulations spur needs for lightweighting at OEMs. To satisfy this increasing demand, Mitsui Chemicals plans to remove bottlenecks at its existing Tafmer production facilities in Singapore, allowing it to increase production capacity for the elastomer series.
Mitsui Chemicals is also considering additional increases to supply capacity for Tafmer as they look to grow their business further. During a financial briefing in June, company president Tsutomu Tannowa hinted that a new Tafmer plant might be constructed in North America, China, or at the current site in Singapore.