Japan Polypropylene and 50:50 joint venture partner IRPC of Thailand have formally started commercial operations at their 140,000-tonnes/year polypropylene (PP) compounding plant in Chonburi Province, Thailand. The compounding plant is fed directly with raw material from a 300,000-tonnes/yr PP polymerization plant located upstream.
Simultaneously, JPP has announced plans to shut down in January next year a 70,000-tonnes/year PP polymerization train located at Kashima in Japan. These developments highlight JPP’s strategy of rolling out a global PP compounds network targeting automotive applications. The company is also active in the USA,. Mexico, China, India, and Europe.
The Thai operation in particular will boast superior cost competitiveness on account on its inline compounding technology, which is more suited to producing grades for use in conjunction with color masterbatches. The two partners plan to jointly supply PP compounds to the Southeast Asian market.
The closure of the slurry process polymerization train in Japan reflects the increased competition anticipated in the Japanese domestic market from imported resin for commodity applications.