To meet the growing worldwide demand for Kuraray's EVOH resin EVAL, the Company's Belgian subsidiary EVAL Europe N.V. has commenced work this month on additional production facilities that will double its annual output to 24,000 tons. The new facilities are expected to be completed by the third quarter of 2004.
EVAL is a high-performance resin commercialized by Kuraray in 1972, the first such in the world. EVAL exhibits superior gas-barrier properties compared with other synthetic resins. This not only makes it an ideal material for food containers and packaging, but has also opened up a new field of opportunity in non-food uses such as automobile plastic fuel tanks. The market for EVAL in Japan, the U.S., and Europe is currently expanding at over 10% per year.
The Kuraray Group has a total global annual production capacity of 45,000 tons of EVAL, divided among its three production bases in Japan (the Okayama Plant), the United States (EVAL Company of America, Texas) and Europe (EVAL Europe N.V., Belgium), but this is expected soon to become insufficient, in view of steadily rising demand.
The new production facilities will be designed to handle various different types of EVAL product, and will employ a new process that is more environmentally friendly. They will feature sharply reduced emissions of VOC (volatile organic compounds) and emissions of BOD (biological oxygen demand) substances into waste water.
|Annual production capacity||12,000 tons(current) |
When new facilities begin operation (3rd quarter of 2004): 24,000 tons
|Capital expenditure||¥8,500 million (approx.)|
(term ending March 31, 2003)
(term ending March 31, 2008)
|Asia (incl. Japan)||13,000||25,000|
|Kuraray's Okayama Plant (Japan)||10,000 tons|
|EVAL Company of America||23,000 tons|
|EVAL Europe N.V.||12,000 tons|