Mitsui Chemicals, Inc. and its subsidiary Prime Polymer (owned 65% by Mitsui Chemicals and 35% by Idemitsu Kosan) have launched operations at Mitsui Prime Advanced Composites Europe B.V. (ACE), a joint venture first established in June 2018 with trading company Mitsui & Co. Located within Chemelot Industrial Park in the Netherlands, ACE marks the Mitsui Chemicals Group’s first polypropylene (PP) compounding site in Europe. The plant has capacity of 30,000 tonnes/year.
By launching ACE, the Mitsui Chemicals Group is getting together an integrated European system for research, production and sales. This will allow the group to provide effective lightweighting solutions to automakers and auto parts manufacturers with European bases while also responding to global demand growth.
|The Mitsui Chemicals Group has boosted global PP compounding capacity to 1.12 million tonnes/year globally. Image courtesy of Mitsui Chemicals.|
At present, the Mitsui Chemicals Group operates production sites in eight regions around the world (Japan, U.S., Mexico, Europe, Thailand, China, India, Brazil) and research sites in six regions (Japan, U.S., Europe, Thailand, China, India). The group is now moving to bolster its research, production and sales networks for high-quality PP compounds, which will contribute to lightweighting in the automotive sector.
While forecasts point to reduced automobile production volume around the world due to the ongoing impact of COVID-19, global needs for automotive lightweighting are likely to continue to rise as a result of strengthening environmental regulations. Mitsui Chemicals therefore expects that there will be no change to the upward demand trend for bumpers, instrument panels and other automotive components employing PP compounds to meet these needs.
Mitsui Chemicals Group lightweighting technologies have reportedly garnered excellent feedback from a number of automakers, including those in Europe. By continuing to utilize these technologies, the Mitsui Chemicals Group aims to expand its network of production, sales and technology services for the supply of high-quality products, and will work proactively to further bolster and expand its business for PP compounds.