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February 5, 2013

Teijin Chemicals to establish JV with SK Chemicals

Gerald Ondrey

Teijin Chemicals Ltd. (Tokyo, Japan;, the core company of the Teijin Group’s resin and plastic processing business, announced an agreement with SK Chemicals, a South Korean chemical producer, on a business collaboration, including the establishment of a joint venture to develop, produce and distribute polyphenylene sulfide (PPS) resins and compounds in July.

The joint venture (JV), in which Teijin Chemicals will hold a 34% share and SK Chemicals the remaining 66%, will construct a PPS resin plant in Ulsan, South Korea. The plant will begin operations with a PPS resin annual production capacity of 12,000 tons in the fiscal year starting in April 2015. As demand grows, capacity eventually is expected to reach 20,000 tons. An existing pilot plant will be utilized for market and application development until the new plant starts operating.

The joint venture will pursue global markets, with a special focus on the fast-growing Asian region, aiming to become a world leader in PPS resin and compounds. The partners envision a global market share of 20% by 2020 and annual sales of 350 billion KRW ($320 million) in fiscal 2024.

PPS resin, a super engineering plastic, exhibits excellent thermal resistance, chemical resistance, mechanical strength and dimensional stability. It is suited for precision molding and primarily is used for parts surrounding vehicle engines and motors, electrical components, connectors and sockets. The demand for PPS resin is expected to grow in line with the increasing popularity of electric and hybrid vehicles and the ongoing expansion of electronics markets in emerging countries.

In conventional PPS resins, chlorine and sodium from raw materials and byproducts remain in the resin, which can lead to the corrosion of molds and functional deterioration of metal parts, such as defective contacts. Also, chlorine has a potentially harmful environmental impact if burned.

While SK Chemicals has the technology to produce chlorine- or sodium-free PPS resins using innovative processes, the company has been exploring possibilities of making a full-scale entry into the PPS compound business field. The combination of Teijin Chemicals’ extensive compounding technologies and related expertise and SK Chemicals’ chlorine- or sodium-free PPS resin technology will enable the partners to supply value-added PPS compounds to customers.

For Teijin Chemicals, a leading world-class manufacturer of polycarbonate resins and compounds, the partnership will also enable the company to expand its lineup of resin products and create new value-added solutions, especially in the fields of automotive and electronics materials.

Leveraging its advanced compounding technologies, together with materials and processing technologies from the Teijin group, Teijin Chemicals will enhance its plastic solutions through synergies with SK Chemicals and their PPS joint venture. Teijin Chemicals also expects to expand into other fields, including bio-polycarbonate and polycarbonate copolymers.




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