In April 2004, specialty activated carbon maker Kuraray Chemical Co., Ltd. (Headquarters: Osaka City; President: Shobu Minatono) established wholly owned subsidiary Kuraray Chemical (Ningxia) Environmental Industry Co., Ltd. for the manufacture of activated carbon in Shizuishan City, Ningxia Huizu Zizhiqu, China and broke ground on plant construction. In September of the following year, the plant was completed with a production capacity of 1,000 tons per year—a capital investment of ¥370 million. Since then the plant has steadily manufactured and exported high-performance activated carbon and related products to Japan.
In order to meet Japan's insatiable demand for activated carbon, which is used in the treatment and removal of odors and dioxins from sewage and drinking water, Kuraray Chemical planned a second stage of construction to enhance production capacity by another 1,000 tons per year and invested ¥130 million. On September 8, 2006, a ceremony to commemorate both the completion of the second stage of construction and the one-year anniversary of the completion of the first stage was held on site. With the realization of a total annual capacity of 2,000 tons, sales will begin from November, following trial operations.
The production expansion and the smooth commencement of this business in China have contributed to the strengthening of operations and the establishment of a triple-axis manufacturing structure for activated carbon that includes Japan's Tsurumi Plant, located in Bizen City, Okayama Prefecture, and joint venture Cenapro Chemical Corporation in Cebu City, the Philippines.
Kuraray Chemical is now promoting the development of a global sales and marketing structure to complement its triple-axis manufacturing structure. Accordingly, as of October 6, 2006, Kuraray Chemical dispatched one representative to Shanghai and began sales activities that include India—along with China and Southeast Asia—in its marketing scope. Furthermore, plans to accelerate sales and marketing activities in Europe, India and the United States as a unified marketing territory have been effected through the establishment of a single representative post in Germany on October 26, 2006.
In Japan, Kuraray Chemical is exerting efforts into application differentiation, manufacturing activated carbon for use in high-performance electric double-layer capacitors. Electric double-layer capacitors are currently one of the industry's most noteworthy products, with major applications in: 1. hybrid vehicle backup brake systems and power assists (accelerator assist, idling stop, and high-performance rechargeable and lead batteries); 2. memory backup for computers, video devices and digital cameras; 3. wind-power generation (propeller pitch control); 4. copy machines (standby power and high-speed startup); 5. fork lifts and elevators (energy recovery and instant high-power output); and 6. instant voltage reduction compensation equipment (USP).
|1. Headquarters||Shin Hankyu Building, 1-12-39 Umeda, Kita-ku, Osaka City|
|2. President||Shobu Minatono|
|3. Capital||¥600 million|
|4. Number of employees||218 (as of the end of March 2006)|
|5. Business activities||manufacturing and sales of granulated activated carbon, fibrous activated carbon, molded activated carbon, activated carbon-saturated sheets, spherical water absorbency resin, and design, manufacture, and sales of nitrogen gas separators and activated carbon regeneration furnaces|
|1. Location||4323 Tsurumi, Bizen City, Okayama Prefecture|
|2. Plant manager||Yuji Kodera|
|3. Number of employees||171 (as of the end of March 2006)|
|4. Business activities||manufacturing of granulated activated carbon, fibrous activated carbon, molded activated carbon, activated carbon-saturated sheets, spherical water absorbency resin, and design and manufacture of nitrogen gas separators and activated carbon regeneration furnaces|
|1. Location||Shi Zui Shan City, Ningxia Huizu Zizhiqu, China|
|2. President||Hitoaki Muratoh|
|3. Capital||¥495 million (Kuraray Chemical Co., Ltd. 100%)|
|4. Land area||100,000m²|
|5. Plant area||30 thousand m²|
|6. Major facilities||activated carbon manufacturing plant, power receiving and transformer station, waste gas treatment facility|
|7. Number of employees||117|
|8. Business activities||manufacture of coal-based activated carbon|
|1. Headquarters||Cebu City, Philippines|
|2. Plant||Cebu City, Philippines|
|3. Established||April 1975|
|4. Capital||55 million pesos (financial contribution: Kuraray 35%, Cenapro 60%, Marubeni Corporation 5%)|
|5. Number of employees||Approximately 150|
|6. Business activities||Manufacture of coconut-based activated carbon|