Toray Industries, Inc. (Tokyo) plans to construct a 8600-tonnes/yr production plant for polyphenylene sulfide (PPS) resin in South Korea. The facility located in the Saemangeum Industrial Complex in Gunsan, Jeollabuk Province, is Toray's first manufacturing base for PPS resin outside of Japan.
The plant is expected to become operational in April 2016 and will boost Toray's annual production capacity for PPS resin to 27,600 tonnes together with the existing Tokai Plant in Japan.
Moreover, by manufacturing sodium hydrogen sulfide (NaSH) and paradichlorobenzene (p-DCB), the two main raw materials for PPS resin, at the same plant, Toray intends to make it a cost competitive integrated manufacturing base. Further, Toray will simultaneously install a compounding facility to carry out design and functional processing on the resins. The compounding facility will have an annual production capacity of 3300 tonnes and Toray aims to start shipping it to customers from October 2015, prior to the start of PPS resin production.
The PPS plant will also supply Toray compounding operations primarily in China where it has two facilities; in Shenzhen (10,000 tonnes/yr) and Suzhou (2000 tonnes/yr). Toray also has a large compounding operation in Nagoya, Japan (8300 tonnes/yr).
PPS resins are employed widely in automotive electric components, electric and electrical devices, office automation equipment and various types of housings. Global demand for PPS compounds was estimated at about 70,000 tonnes in 2012 and is expected to grow at a rate exceeding 8% a year moving forward. Toray has also started considering the next phase of production capacity expansion to meet increasing demand for PPS resins to meet long term demand growth.