Mitsui Chemicals to produce glass fiber chemical in China
GUANGZHOU, China, NNA – Japan’s Mitsui Chemicals Inc. will establish a plant producing a polypropylene composite in China, its third after ones in Japan and the United States, as demand for parts for lighter eco-friendly cars increases amid tightening environmental regulations.
The company will locally produce long glass fiber-reinforced polypropylene, which is used for the unpainted interior of rear car doors, after seeing stable demand mainly from Japanese automakers in China, Yumi Tada, a spokeswoman in Tokyo, told NNA Wednesday.
The Chinese new vehicle sales market posted the first decline in 28 years in 2018, but “auto parts demand for lighter eco-friendly vehicles is expected to remain strong” due to tighter regulations and the growing use of electric vehicles, she said.
Mitsui Advanced Composites (Zhongshan) Co., the Japanese company’s subsidiary in the southern province of Guangdong, plans to build a facility with annual output capacity of 3,500 tons, the same as in both Japan and the United States, for a total capacity of 10,500 tons per year, according to another spokesman in Tokyo.
Up until now, the Japanese company has been shipping the product from Japan to China, according to Tada. She declined to comment on investment value for the new plant.
Plant construction is scheduled for completion in February 2020, with operations starting in September the same year, Mitsui Chemicals said in a statement.
The product, developed by Prime Polymer Co., a joint venture between Mitsui Chemicals and Japan’s major oil refiner Idemitsu Kosan Co., is a light composite material, with long glass fiber striking a balance between hardness and impact resistance, according to the statement.