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Japan’s Mitsui Chemicals is to increase the production capacity of polypropylene compounds for automotive applications at its Grand Siam Composites Co. (GSC) to meet the expanding demand in Southeast Asia.
GSC is a joint venture company established in February 1996, with MCI and Thailand’s Cementhai Chemicals Co., Ltd. (CCC) being the major shareholders, with MCI and CCC holding a 48% and 46% interest, respectively.
MCI positions automotive PP compounds business as one of the core business in its Petrochemicals sector. In the latest move, GSC is scheduled to ramp up its automotive PP compounds capacity by 8,000 tons, to 48,000 ton/yr. Construction work for the expansion is to start in February 2005, for completion in June the same year.
It is MCI’s expectation that the demand for the PP material in Thailand will continue to increase significantly in the future. As Japanese automotive manufacturers are accelerating their globalization, Thailand is on its way to playing an extremely significant role in Southeast Asia.
Because Thailand is not only enlarging its domestic automobile supply but also serving as the exporting base for the ASEAN countries, automotive production in the country is projected to continue growing, to exceed 1 million units in 2005, and hit 1.8 million units by 2010. It is with such a backdrop that MCI’s plans to upgrade the production setup and boost capacity at GSC this time.
Having already executed an 8,000-ton/yr expansion in July this year, MCI expects that the new capacity addition would further strengthen GSC’s presence in Thailand as the top automotive PP compounds manufacturer.
Already proceeding separately with its plans to begin commercial operation of another automotive PP compounds plant of 15,000 ton/yr capacity in April 2005, at its 100% subsidiary “Mitsui Advanced Composites (Zhongshan) Co., Ltd.”, located in Zhongshan, Guangdong Province, China, MCI is hoping to further reinforce its setup to provide high-quality products in the four major markets of the world, namely, Japan, North America, Europe and Asia.
MCI intends to proceed with a further strengthening and development of its automotive PP compounds business by keeping in step with the global expansion of the Japanese auto makers and by striving to perfect the production, sales and technical service setup for supplying high-quality products.
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