Kuraray Co., Ltd. today announces the establishment of KURARAY AQUA CO., LTD. ("KURARAY AQUA") in cooperation with Nomura Micro Science Co., Ltd. ("Nomura Micro;" headquarters: Atsugi City, Kanagawa Prefecture; President: Toyosaku Senda). KURARAY AQUA was inaugurated with the aim of offering total services, including the development and sale of materials, design and the after-sales maintenance of equipment and plants in the fast-growing water-processing-related industry.

Incorporating Kuraray's high-polymer hollow-fiber membrane and water clarification technology by means of PVA gel materials and Nomura Micro's engineering technology developed as an extra-pure-water production system manufacturing and sales company, KURARAY AQUA will meet various needs in the globally expanding markets that include water clarification systems, drainage treatment and recycling facilities for the private sector.

Kuraray positions the water-processing business as one of its key business domains targeted for expansion. Therefore, the Company will develop close liaisons with the Group's plant engineering company, Kuraray Engineering Co., Ltd., the activated carbon maker Kuraray Chemical Co., Ltd. and the trading company Kuraray Trading Co., Ltd., as well as KURARAY AQUA, to aim for early business expansion.

Kuraray boasts a lineup in its a hollow-fiber membrane module ; a large-pore hollow fiber filtration system that has had good results in the elimination of disease-causing protozoa, including cryptosporidium; PVA gel (a carrier for immobilization of microorganisms) that realizes space-saving activated sludge-processing equipment; and an epoch-making surplus sludge volume-reduction system.

Of all these products, the surplus sludge volume-reduction system was introduced in April 2007 as a revolutionary system that can improve drainage-processing capacity and significantly reduce industrial waste caused by surplus sludge. Based on successful operations carried out for more than one year since the delivery to its plant, Kuraray is accepting plant orders in the Japanese market, while registering these new technologies in South Korea. The system was also delivered to a Japanese dying factory and operated successfully for over six months, resulting in an increasing number of business inquiries.

Meanwhile, with its technological excellence in engineering, Nomura Micro engages in various businesses encompassing the design, installation and sales of the extra-pure-water production system and drainage-processing equipment for various applications, mainly in the semiconductor and liquid-crystal-related industries; maintenance of delivered equipment, sales of consumable attachments for the equipment, such as cartridge filters and ion-exchange resins, as well as water quality analysis for third parties.

As a result of incorporating both companies' technologies, KURARAY AQUA received orders from Taiwan for a plant combining Kuraray's surplus sludge volume-reduction system and Nomura Micro's RO (reverse osmosis) technology. The plant is now in a test-run phase, with the aim of achieving 85% drainage-water recovery-to a clean-water level-at a chemical plant.

Overview of the Capital Investment

  Basic Technologies Water-Processing
  • Material development technology
  • High-polymer synthesis and processing technology
  • Fiber- and textile-related technology
  • Capacity expansion for sludge volume-reduction and drainage-processing facilities by means of unique PVA gel
  • Low-energy filtering technology by means of large-pore separation membrane
  • High-intensity, large-pore membrane made from PVDF, MF/UF membrane, immersion membrane
  • Chemicals
  • Foods
  • Fibers and textiles
Nomura Micro
  • Extra-pure-water technology
  • Microanalysis technology
  • Water-processing engineering technology
  • Extra-pure-water and pure-water equipment
  • Highly efficient RO system
  • Degassing equipment
  • Semiconductors
  • Liquid crystals
  • Electronics and electric equipment

Combining their specialties, both Kuraray and Nomura Micro can widen their business fields in the water-processing industry-a key aspect of the environmental business, with high future growth potential in the 21st century. By realizing a company that provides general water-processing-related business, KURARAY AQUA will aim to reach ¥40 billion in sales by 2015.

Overview of the Joint Venture

Company name KURARAY AQUA CO., LTD.
Location 3-2-17 Nihonbashi Muromachi, Chuo-ku, Tokyo
President Hidekazu Ito
(Former Managing Director, General Manager of Sales Division of Kuraray Engineering Co., Ltd.)
Principal businesses Sales of water clarification membranes, design, manufacturing, installation, sales and after-sales maintenance of plants both in Japan and overseas
Establishment February 2008
Business commencement April 2008
Capital ¥100 million (Kuraray 55%, Nomura Micro 45%)


Overview of Kuraray Co., Ltd.

President Yasuaki Wakui
Headquarters 1-1-3 Otemachi, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo
Establishment June 24, 1926
Capital ¥89,000 million (as of March 31, 2007)
Employees (Non-consolidated) 2,613; (Consolidated) 6,812 (as of March 31, 2007)
Principal businesses Manufacture and sales of chemicals and resins, fibers and textiles, high-performance materials and medical products

Overview of Nomura Micro Science Co., Ltd.

President Toyosaku Senda
Headquarters 2-9-8 Okada, Atsugi City, Kanagawa Prefecture
Establishment April 2, 1969
Capital ¥2,236.8 million (as of November 5, 2007)
Employees 343 (as of March 31, 2007)
Principal businesses Design, installation, sales and after-sales maintenance of extra-pure-water production systems and drainage processing systems, as well as the sales of consumable goods for such systems for the electronics, medical, biotechnology, food and environmental energy industries