TOKYO (Nov. 5)—Japanese petrochemicals producer Kuraray Co. Ltd. will add 4,000 metric tons of annual capacity for its Septon and Hybrar hydrogenated styrene thermoplastic elastomers at its Kashima, Japan, plant, increasing capacity there by January 2005 to 23,000 tons. The $13.5 million expansion project is being undertaken against a background of anticipated 10-percent annual growth in demand for the material, which substitutes for vulcanized rubber and flexible polyvinyl chloride, Kuraray said. Together with a 12,000-ton factory in Pasadena, Texas, Kuraray will have 35,000 tons of global capacity, with long-term plans already in place to boost this 43 percent to 50,000 tons, according to Septon Co. of America, Kuraray's Pasadena-based U.S. subsidiary.
Kuraray to add capacity for TPEs
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