• Nna/kyodo


Major chemical products maker Mitsui Chemicals Inc. will boost polypropylene compound output in Thailand to meet a rising global need for lightweight automobiles.

Grand Siam Composites Co., its joint venture with a local partner, plans to increase production capacity of polypropylene compounds at a plant in Rayong province, southeast of Bangkok, by 13,000 tons a year with an investment of around ¥1 billion, the company said Friday.

Construction is scheduled to be completed in May 2020 and operations will start the following month, it said. The Thai unit’s annual capacity for the product is 140,000 tons after its latest expansion in 2012, according to the company.

Demand for polypropylene compounds is growing each year since it can be used to help reduce the weight of automobiles in such vehicle components as bumpers and instrument panels among other parts, the company said.

The local unit was established in 1996 and is owned 45.2 percent by Mitsui Chemicals and 46.2 percent by SCG Chemicals Co. under the Siam Cement Group.

Mitsui Chemicals also plans to ramp up production capacity for the same compounds in India by 12,000 tons per year in October 2020, according to the company.

The company’s global output capacity of polypropylene compounds will total 1.12 million tons annually in the year to March 2021, with Asia accounting for 630,000 tons, or 56 percent of the total, it said.

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