GC joins together with Kuraray and Sumitomo to set up the "Kuraray GC Advanced Materials" joint venture company to support its Performance and Specialty Chemicals Business for high performance polymers

(11 July 18) Bangkok - Mr. Supattanapong Punmeechaow, President & Chief Executive Officer of PTT Global Chemical Public Company Limited, or GC; Mr. Masaaki Ito, Representative Director and President of Kuraray Co., Ltd.; and Mr. Masahiro Fujita, Representative Director, Executive Vice President, General Manager, Mineral Resources, Energy, Chemical & Electronics Business Unit, Sumitomo Corporation, today jointly inaugurated the “Kuraray GC Advanced Materials Co., Ltd.” joint venture project. The three companies are co-investing in the project to develop a Performance and Specialty Chemicals Business to manufacture Super Engineering Plastic (High-Heat Resistant Polyamide-9T, or PA9T) and Hydrogenated Styrenic Block Copolymer (HSBC) products in Thailand.

Kuraray GC Advanced Materials, which will be located in the Hemaraj Eastern Industrial Estate in Map Ta Phut, Muang District, Rayong province, will have a production capacity of 13,000 tons/year of PA9T and 16,000 tons/year of HSBC. The project, set for completion after 2021, follows GC’s strategic business development direction of expanding into performance and specialty chemicals in its downstream petrochemical business to grow its presence in the automotive and electrical and electronics (E&E) sectors. There is a high demand for performance and specialty chemicals in these sectors, which also show continuous growth. GC plans to use raw materials from the company’s Olefins Production Unit to add value to products manufactured by the new joint venture company.

PA9T’s outstanding thermal and mechanical properties give it excellent chemical resistance and super dimensional stability. This makes PA9T ideal for producing delicate, complicated yet robust components that are perfect substitutes for metal in auto parts production, which leads 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 it's compounded, and recyclability. Many industries including consumer products and the automotive and construction sectors use HSBC. 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 Kuraray GC Advanced Materials joint venture is GC 33.4%, Kuraray Co., Ltd. (KRR) 53.3% through an affiliated company, and Sumitomo Corporation (SC) 13.3% through an affiliated company.

GC considers the joint venture a stepping stone to enter New S-Curve industries in response to the Thai government’s Thailand 4.0 policy. Expanding its business into performance and specialty chemicals to add value to products reflects the company’s strategic plan and development direction to address increasing demand in the automotive, E&E, and building material industries.

Kuraray Co., Ltd. is a Japanese manufacturer of specialty chemicals with revenue of USD 4.8 billion in 2017. The company is continuously engaged in product and technology R&D projects that can capitalize on its expertise in developing exclusive manufacturing technologies. Currently, Kuraray supplies chemical products, vinyl acetate resin, Isoprene, functional materials, and fibers & textiles to customers over the world to meet the various requirements of many different industries. Kuraray’s network outside Japan has grown to 102 locations in 31 countries and regions.

Sumitomo Corporation is an integrated trading company that engages in many business activities. In 2017, the company generated a gross profit of USD 7.6 billion. Sumitomo strategically deals with its customers through a private network that links more than 130 Sumitomo offices in 65 countries around the world. The company’s products and services include metal products, transportation & construction systems, infrastructure, media & ICT, living-related projects & real estate, mineral resources, energy, chemicals, and electronics.

PTT Global Chemical or GC provides high-quality petrochemical and chemical products to a wide range of customers and operates within eight areas of business. The company has a total petrochemical and chemical production capacity of 10.2 million tons per year, with a crude and condensate refining throughput capacity of 280,000 barrels per day. GC recognizes the importance of making investments 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 also makes a major contribution to driving Thailand’s growth through its advanced technologies, creativity, and innovation to support the Thai government’s Thailand 4.0 policy.