Japanese firms consolidate ethylene operations

Asahi Kasei Corp. and Mitsubishi Chemical Corp. reached an agreement to unify and jointly operate their naphtha cracking operations in Mizushima, Japan.

Under the agreement, Asahi Kasei will shutter the 500,000-tonne/year naphtha cracker at its Mizushima plant and share in the operation of the existing 500,000-tpy cracker at Mitsubishi’s nearby complex, according to a recent release from Asahi Kasei.

The unification of operations is scheduled for April 2016 following a planned upgrade to the naphtha cracker at Mitsubishi’s plant, which will boost its ethylene capacity to 570,000 tpy, Asahi Kasei said.

The companies, who together previously established Nishi Nippon Ethylene LLP in April 2011 to unify management of their respective Mizushima naphtha crackers, made the decision to jointly operate a single cracker in order to optimize production configuration and efficiency as well as strengthen competitiveness in the Mizushima industrial zone, said Asahi Kasei.

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