GC, Kuraray, and Sumitomo Corporation Join Foundation Stone Laying Ceremony, Inaugurating a Performance and Specialty Chemicals Business That Will Produce Advanced Plastic Products in the EEC

(3 September 2019) Rayong, Thailand: Rayong Governor Surasak Charoensirichote today presided over the foundation stone laying ceremony for KURARAY GC ADVANCED MATERIALS CO., LTD., and KURARAY ADVANCED CHEMICALS (THAILAND) CO., LTD.’s projects in the WHA Eastern Industrial Estate (Map Ta Phut) Rayong. Supattanapong Punmeechaow, President and CEO of PTT Global Chemical PLC, or GC; Masaaki Ito, President of Kuraray Co., Ltd.; and Shingo Ueno, Senior Managing Executive Officer, Mineral Resources, Energy, Chemical & Electronics Business Unit of Sumitomo Corporation, joined the ceremony. The three companies have jointly invested in a performance and specialty chemicals business that will produce advanced plastic products under the Thermoplastic Elastomer and Polyamide Production Plant Project and the Isobutylene Derivative Production Plant Project.

Mr. Masaaki Ito, President of Kuraray Co., Ltd., said Kuraray is pleased to join the foundation stone laying ceremony for the two projects. Established in Japan in 1926, Kuraray began producing rayon filaments using the most advanced technology at that time. The company continues to develop diverse new products including polymers and synthetic fibers such as “KURALON” and “CLARINO” a man-made leather, along with many more products that have become an integral part of people’s daily lives.

Kuraray currently manufactures advanced plastic products including High Performance Polyamide (Super Engineering Plastic Polyamide 9T, PA9T) under the “GENESTAR” brand and High Performance Thermoplastic (Hydrogenated Styrenic Block Co-Polymer, HSBC) under the “SEPTON” brand. Both products are under the management of KGC, the joint venture between Kuraray, GC, and Sumitomo Corporation. Kuraray also produces special chemicals such as methyl pentanediol under the management of KAC, one of its affiliates. All products are made using Kuraray’s proprietary technologies to ensure they help improve society and the lives of consumers.

Mr. Supattanapong Punmeechaow, President and CEO of GC, said that the KGC joint venture involving GC, Kuraray, and Sumitomo Corporation is a co-investment in the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC). GC is implementing a long-term strategy to energize investments and create added value in the petrochemical and chemical industries to support the Thai government’s policy of promoting industrial investments in the EEC. The company is well positioned to continue its business expansion in the EEC’s targeted industries, having first invested in the EEC area over 30 years ago. As a pioneering operator, GC’s vision is helping to create added value and strengthen Thailand’s competitiveness.

The KGC joint venture project, located in the WHA Eastern Industrial Estate (formerly known as the Hemaraj Eastern Industrial Estate) in Map Ta Phut, Rayong province, will have a production capacity of 13,000 tons/year of PA9T and 16,000 tons/year of HSBC. Scheduled for completion in 2022, the project follows GC’s strategic business direction of expanding into performance and specialty chemicals in its downstream petrochemicals business to increase its presence in the automotive and electrical & electronics (E&E) sectors. There is strong demand for performance and specialty chemicals in these sectors and both offer long-term growth potential. GC plans to use raw materials from its Olefins Production Unit to add value to products manufactured by KGC.

The two projects are an important step ahead as they allow GC to support new S-Curve industries in line with the government’s policy to move the country forward through its Thailand 4.0 initiative. They will also expand GC’s business into performance chemicals by adding value to products, in accordance with GC’s strategic plan and direction to meet demand in growth areas including the automobile, electrical & electronics, and construction materials sectors.

Mr. Shingo Ueno, Senior Managing Executive Officer, Mineral Resources, Energy, Chemical & Electronics Business Unit of Sumitomo Corporation, noted that Sumitomo Corporation which holds a 13.3% share in KGC, Sumitomo Corporation Thailand Co., Ltd. was founded in 1960 in Bangkok, almost 60 years ago. He added it is an honor to collaborate with two well-established partners – Kuraray, which is dedicated to providing the most advanced technologies and has a leading global market share, and GC, Asia’s largest petrochemical and chemical producer, to support the government’s Thailand 4.0 policy.

PA9T’s outstanding thermal and mechanical properties give it excellent chemical resistance and super dimensional stability. This makes it ideal for producing delicate and complicated yet robust components that are perfect substitutes for metal in auto parts production, leading to lighter and more energy-efficient vehicles.

A combination of rubber and thermoplastic, HSBC’s key properties include rubber-like softness, weather resistance, the ability to be easily injection molded when compounded, and recyclability. Many industries use HSBC including consumer products and the automotive and construction sectors. It is also suitable for medical and baby products and items such as swim fins, window seals, and toothbrush handles.

The shareholding of each party in the KGC joint venture is GC at 33.4%, Kuraray at 53.3% through an affiliated company, and Sumitomo Corporation at 13.3% through an affiliated company.

Kuraray is a Japanese manufacturer of specialty chemicals. The company is continuously engaged in product and technology R&D projects that capitalize on its expertise in developing exclusive manufacturing technologies. Currently, Kuraray supplies chemical products, vinyl acetate resin, isoprene, functional materials, and fibers and textiles to customers around the world that meet the various requirements of many different industries. Kuraray’s network outside Japan has grown to 27 countries and regions.

Sumitomo Corporation is an integrated trading company engaged in many business activities. The company deals strategically with customers through a private network that links more than 130 Sumitomo Corporation offices in 65 countries around the world. Sumitomo Corporation’s products and services include metal products, transportation & construction systems, infrastructure, media & ICT, living-related projects & real estate, mineral resources, energy, chemicals, and electronics.

GC provides high-quality petrochemical and chemical products to a wide range of customers and operates within eight business areas. The company has a total petrochemical and chemical production capacity of 10.21 million tons per year, with a crude and condensate refining throughput capacity of 280,000 barrels per day. GC recognizes the importance of investing to expand its business into performance and specialty chemicals as it shifts from producing raw materials for consumer goods to producing high-value products that require advanced manufacturing technology. The company is also helping drive Thailand’s growth through its advanced technologies, creativity, and innovation to support the Thai government’s Thailand 4.0 policy.