PASADENA, Texas (Sept. 20)—Japanese polymer producer Kuraray Co. Ltd. is raising annual capacity for styrenic thermoplastic elastomers 50 percent at its Pasadena plant to 18,000 metric tons.
The expansion project, which primarily involves debottlenecking the 3-year-old factory, will involve an investment of $12 million, Kuraray said, and should be completed by March 2007.
The decision to make the investment "was driven by both the expansion of demand, chiefly in the U.S., and by the increase in applications for high-performance materials," Tokyo-based Kuraray said.
Kuraray's U.S. subsidiary, Septon Co. of America, makes the firm's Septon and Hybrar hydrogenated styrenic elastomers at the plant.
The expansion at Pasadena is part of a larger growth strategy that would bring the firm's worldwide capacity to 50,000 tons, up from 35,000 tons currently. Kuraray also produces at a site in Kashima, Japan.