What is the purpose of the withdrawal of Japanese acrylic acid companies from the production field?
On April 8, the old Japanese petrochemical giant Idemitsu Kosan announced that it had decided to withdraw from the acrylic product business.
Acrylic is an organic compound synthesized from propylene and is used as a raw material for superabsorbent polymers, paints and adhesives. Idemitsu Kosan’s acrylic products business includes acrylic acid and butyl acrylate, and has been in this business for 30 years since 1992.
Idemitsu Kosan said that in recent years, the expansion of new acrylic equipment in Asia has led to oversupply and a deterioration of the market environment. Considering the future management policy, the company believes that it is difficult to continue operating.
According to the plan, Idemitsu Kosan will stop the operation of the 50,000-ton/year acrylic acid unit at the Aichi Refinery by March 2023, and withdraw from the acrylic acid product business.
The refinery’s petrochemical complex in central Aichi Prefecture has a production capacity of 50,000 tons/year of acrylic acid, which is made from propylene. Idemitsu outsources its BA production. It decided to exit the business against the backdrop of rising supplies in Asia.
The goal of the Japanese petrochemical industry is to optimize the business in response to global competition by shifting to high-performance products. Domestic joint venture Prime Polymer plans to shut down its 110,000 t/y polypropylene (PP) unit at the Anegasaki plant by 2023, while building a new 200,000 t/y PP plant in Ichihara by the end of 2024 to produce high-performance PP materials.
In recent years, in the face of pressures such as the gradual reduction of domestic demand in Japan, the decline of international competitiveness, and the substantial expansion of chemical production in China, the Middle East and North America, Japan’s chemical industry is accelerating its structural transformation, and exiting the basic chemical business has become one of the main options. . For example, Mitsui Chemicals announced on March 15 that it will close its purified terephthalic acid (PTA) plant in Otake Iwakuni, Japan in August 2023. Mitsubishi Chemical decided at the end of 2021 that it will withdraw from the petrochemical and coal chemical business in the next few years, leading the country’s basic chemical industry to integrate towards carbon neutrality.What is the purpose of the withdrawal of Japanese acrylic acid companies from the production field?