Kuraray announces the commencement of operations at the expanded facilities of the SEPTON Company of America in the United States. The plant expansion was effected in order to eliminate bottlenecks in the production of hydrogenated styrenic thermoplastic elastomers.(Kuraray brands: SEPTON, HYBRAR) With this plant renovation, the annual production capacity has been increased by 6,000 tons to 18,000 tons.

SEPTON and HYBRAR thermoplastic elastomers are synthetic rubber materials developed and commercialized by Kuraray in 1990. With superior elasticity, they can be flexibly molded like plastics by heat and are widely utilized in automobile interior applications, electronics appliance components, and housing component-related materials, as well as for soft materials used in daily commodities such as toys, tools and stationery. Global demand for hydrogenated styrenic elastomers is growing, primarily in the United States, Europe and Asia, particularly for use as a substitute for vulcanized rubber and flexible PVC.

Kuraray has long positioned thermoplastic elastomers as one of its core businesses following the vinyl acetate and PVA businesses for poval and EVAL. To this end, Kuraray proactively develops its thermoplastic elastomers business worldwide.

Kuraray will continue its efforts to bolster a user-oriented development structure to develop new products that fully meet market needs and that create new markets as well. By doing so, Kuraray will focus on reinforcing and expanding the thermoplastic elastomers business.

Overview of Capital Investments in SEPTON Company of America

Production capacity 6,000 tons / year (increase)
(Total production capacity of thermoplastic elastomers [hydrogenated styrenic elastomer: SEPTON and HYBRAR] with this completion is 18,000 tons / year)
Location Pasadena, Texas, the United States
Capital investments US$12 million
The Kuraray Group's Production Capacity of Thermoplastic Elastomers
* As of March 2007
SEPTON Company of America 18,000 tons / year
Kashima Plant 23,000 tons / year
Total 41,000 tons / year

SEPTON Company of America Profile

Headquarters Texas, U.S.A
Production Capacity 18,000 tons / year
President Noboru Yanagida
Capital US$35 million