Mitsui Chemicals and SKC (Seoul) plan to merge their polyurethane (PU) raw material businesses into a joint venture by 1 April 2015. Mitsui president and CEO Tsutomu Tannowa and SKC CEO Jang Suk Park signed the jv agreement today.
The jv, yet to be named, will be equally owned by the two companies and fully use their worldwide networks. The jv will be headquartered in South Korea and is expected to generate sales of about $1.50 billion in 2015, rising to about $2.00 billion/year in 2020.
The jv will aim to reduce costs by integrating the partners’ PU system product businesses and develop new applications through consolidating products and technologies.
Mitsui will contribute to the jv a 120,000-m.t./year toluene diisocyanate (TDI) plant at Omuta, Japan, and the company’s 50% share of the 200,000-m.t./year methylene di-para-phenylene isocyanate (MDI) plant operated by the Kumho Mitsui Chemicals jv at Yeosu, South Korea. Mitsui will also contribute a 50,000-m.t./year polyols plant at Nagoya, Japan, as well as a 40% stake in the Vithal Caster Polyols jv, which is slated to start up an 8,000-m.t./year biomass-to-polyols plant in Gujarat State, India, next year. SKC will contribute a 180,000-m.t./year MDI unit at Ulsan, South Korea.
Mitsui announced earlier this year that it would close a 117,000-m.t./year TDI plant at Kashima, Japan; and a 60,000-m.t./year MDI plant at Omuta by the end of 2016. These plants will operate as part of the planned jv with SKC until they close.
The jv will have PU systems operations at Beijing, Foshan, Suzhou, and Tianjin, China; as well as in Indonesia, Malaysia, Poland, Thailand, and the United States.
By Ian Young with Clement Choo