TOKYO, May 17, 2006 _Ube Industries, Ltd. will celebrate the completion of its new nylon R&D center in Spain as well as the commencement of operations for its polycarbonate diol (PCD) and 1,5-pentanediol (PDL) plant in a special ceremony to be held on May 19, 2006. The ceremony will be held by Ube Engineering Plastics, S.A., which operates the nylon R&D center, and Ube Chemical Europe, S.A., which operates the new plant. Both companies are wholly-owned subsidiaries of Ube Industries and located in the city of Castellon in Valencia, Spain.
The ceremony will be attended by major customers and Spanish government officials from national, provincial and municipal levels. The Japanese Ambassador to Spain will also attend the ceremony.
The Ube Industries Group maintains three global bases for nylon resin production in Japan (Ube City), Asia (Thailand) and Europe (Spain). As part of an effort to expand R&D functions for its three global production bases for nylon, Ube Engineering Plastics, S.A. commenced construction of the new nylon R&D center in April 2004. Building construction was completed in January 2006 and R&D operations are already underway at the new facility.
By establishing an R&D center that is closely tied to production bases within the European market, the Ube Group gains the ability to respond quickly and precisely to the requirements of its customers, enabling it to carry out product development as one with customers. The facility's reach will also include new product development aimed at the European market.
The facility will coordinate its efforts with existing technical centers in Japan and Thailand to serve as an important R&D base contributing to the competitive success of Ube Industries' nylon business in Europe and worldwide.
The latest plant builds on the success of Ube Industries' existing 1,6-hexanediol (HDL) plant in Spain, which went online in October 1999. Construction of the new polycarbonate diol (PCD) and 1,5-pentanediol (PDL) plant started in December 2004, with the aim of expanding Ube Industries' specialty chemicals business in Europe. Since its completion in January 2006, the new plant has begun full-scale operations after a successful period of trial operations.
By bringing two additional plants online, the Ube Group broadens the scope of its chemicals business in Europe.
The PCD plant has an annual production capacity of 3,000 tons. PCD offers advanced durability when used as a raw material in polyurethane, delivering advanced hydrolysis resistance, heat resistance and weather resistance. Due to its durability characteristics, major applications for PCD are for use in synthetic leathers, automotive paints and wood paints for floor coatings. Demand for PCD has been rising significantly. Ube Industries is the world's only manufacturer of both 1,6-HDL and dimethyl carbonate (DMC), the main ingredient in PCD.
The 1,5-PDL plant has an annual production capacity of 400 tons. The main applications for 1,5-PDL are as a raw ingredient in polyester plastics, polyurethane, pharmaceuticals and agrochemicals. Demand for 1,5-PDL has steadily risen. The Ube Industries Group also anticipates growing demand for its use in ink solvents and cosmetics.
|Overview of Nylon R&D Center||Overview of Polycarbonate Diol and