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Denka to increase chloroprene rubber production by 10,000 tons  

Monday, May 21, 2018

Tokyo, Japan -Japan Rubber Weekly reports that Toshio Imai, a managing executive officer at chloroprene rubber (CR) market leader Denka Co. Ltd., recently revealed plans by the company to deal with globally tight supply for CR. Imai clarified that Denka intends to increase its production of the material by 10,000 tons, and that plans here include resuming operations at a stopped line within its domestic Omi Plant as well as removing bottlenecks at Denka Performance Elastomer LLC (DPE), a subsidiary based in the U.S. state of Louisiana. Denka will invest several hundred million yen (100 million yen = $906,326) into these efforts, which are slated to take 1.5–2 years before entering operation. The company is currently considering whether to move forward with production increases at both plants or focus on just one, Imai said. Denka’s Omi Plant produces CR using the acetylene method, and boasts a world-leading annual production capacity of 100,000 tons per year for the material. Meanwhile, DPE’s plant was acquired in 2015 as part of the neoprene business of the former E.I. du Pont de Nemours and Co., commonly known as DuPont. The plant is able to produce 50,000 tons of CR each year using the butadiene method. Global CR demand is estimated at 280,000 tons per year, and is expected to remain stable going forward. Denka intends to sell high-performance grades of CR, and plans for this grade to make for an annual business scale of 2.5 billion yen by 2020. Commenting on current market conditions, Imai said that further price increases may be necessary in the future to achieve and maintain stable supply. But for now, he said, price adjustments will remain on the local level to help ensure fair prices. Going forward, Denka intends to make more concrete plans for a production increase within the first half of the year.


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