Kuraray has decided to construct additional production facilities for methacrylic resin products, thereby doubling its annual production capacity from the present 20,000 tons to 40,000 tons, with the start of operation scheduled for October 2003.
Thanks to its excellent transparency and weatherability, PMMA (polymethyl methacrylate) is in strong demand for use in signboards, lighting cover, and large-scale windows for aquariums. In addition to methacrylic resin sheet and other products, Kuraray also manufactures an extensive range of methacryl-related products, from the raw material MMA (methyl methacrylate) monomer to PMMA-based synthetic marble.

Demand has been growing particularly fast in recent years for LCDs used in PC monitors and TVs. Especially notable is Kuraray's steady growth in optoelectronic products including light-guide panels, which capitalize on the most valuable property of PMMA - its superior transparency.

As our present production capacity is failing to keep pace with demand, we have decided to invest in the construction of additional production facilities, particularly for methacrylic resin products for the optoelectronics field, from which strong demand is expected.

As stated above, the start of operation of the new facilities will bring Kuraray's total production capacity to 40,000 tons. This will allow Kuraray to expand its lineup of high-performance products that fully exploit its unique expertise in resins for optoelectronic use, and in soft methacrylic resin products.

We plan to continue focusing on the development of products that optimally leverage the unique characteristics of PMMA -- particularly in the optoelectronic field - as well as original new products. In these ways, we will work to expand the business scale of our PMMA operations.

The following is an outline of the planned new production facilities:

Annual production capacity 20,000 tons
Location Nakajo Plant (Nakajo-Machi, Kitakambara-gun, Niigata Prefecture , Japan)
Value of investment Almost ¥2,000 million
Scheduled start of operation October 2003