Kuraray Co., Ltd. (Head Office: Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo; President: Masaaki Ito; hereinafter “Kuraray”) hereby announces its decision to modify the production item lineup of its meltblown nonwoven fabric production facility, which is located on the premises of the Okayama Factory, a facility run by nonwoven fabric production and sales subsidiary Kuraray Kuraflex Co., Ltd. that is currently undergoing expansion. This move will result in the production of face mask filters at said facility and is aimed at meeting surging demand for nonwoven fabrics for use as mask filters.
・The Kuraray Group’s meltblown nonwoven fabrics are currently being used as a filter material in various applications, including face masks, thanks to their fine structure consisting solely of extremely thin polymer fibers that are firmly intertwined without the use of binders.
・Currently, there is a lingering shortage of face mask filters due to a rapid increase in domestic demand amid the widespread implementation of novel coronavirus countermeasures. In particular, high-performance filters for use in surgical masks have been seriously depleted.
・Although the Kuraray Group has been marketing its meltblown nonwoven fabrics for a variety of applications, such as face masks, filtering materials for food and beverage production and air filters, the Group’s existing facilities for producing mask filters have been in constant full-capacity operation due to tight demand-supply status reflecting the recent spread of the novel coronavirus.
・Against this backdrop, the Group decided to modify the production item lineup of this meltblown nonwoven fabric production facility currently undergoing expansion to enable to produce face mask filters. This move is expected to empower the Group to produce enough sheets of meltblown nonwoven fabric for approximately 300 million face masks per year. In this way, the Kuraray Group will contribute to nationwide efforts aimed at preventing the spread of the novel coronavirus.
In line with Kuraray’s mission “For people and the planet—to achieve what no one else can,” the Kuraray Group will continue to deliver products backed by unique technologies, with the aim of contributing to the betterment of society.
|Location||2-4-9 Kaigan Dori, Minami-ku, Okayama City, Okayama Prefecture
(Okayama Factory, Kuraray Kuraflex Co., Ltd.)
|Plant capacity||900 tons per year
(current; after expansion, meltblown nonwoven fabric production capacity will become 2,700 tons per year)
|Launch of expanded lines||November 31, 2020 (planned)|
|Company name||Kuraray Kuraflex Co., Ltd.|
|Head Office||Umeda Hankyu Building Office Tower 40F, 8-1 Kakudacho, Kita-ku, Osaka City, Osaka Prefecture|
|Representative||Shinji Matsuo, Representative Director and President|
|Established||January 4, 2000 (Precursor: Kuraray Chicopee Co., Ltd. founded in 1971)*|
|Capital||\100 million (wholly owned by Kuraray Co., Ltd.)|
|Main businesses||Manufacture, processing and sale of nonwoven fabrics and products based on such fabrics|
* Inaugurated as Kuraflex Co., Ltd. and rebranded to the current name in 2005