February 2, 2007
Asahi Kasei Chemicals Corp.

Commercial start-up of propane-process acrylonitrile line
Asahi Kasei Chemicals Corp. (AKC) has begun commercial operation of the world's first propane process for acrylonitrile (AN) production, with the start-up and validation of a propane-process line at the Ulsan Plant of its Korean subsidiary Tongsuh Petrochemical Corp. An existing 70,000 ton/year AN line was modified to use the propane process.

As a key element of its Growth Action – 2010 mid-range corporate initiative, the Asahi Kasei Group has marked its AN business for strategic global expansion, especially in rapidly growing Asian markets. In an environment of continuously high prices for petroleum and its derivatives, the propane process for AN is a significant breakthrough in that it enables the use of gas-derived feed, thereby reducing dependence on feedstocks whose prices are linked to the oil price. Commercial validation of the propane process will serve to strengthen the operational base, providing a new option for competitive AN production, and is an important milestone in the advancement of a plan by AKC to build a large-scale propane-process AN plant in Thailand, in a joint venture with PTT Plc.

Overview of the propane-process AN line
Site: Ulsan Plant of Tongsuh Petrochemical Corp.
Start-up: January 20, 2007

Tongsuh Petrochemical corporate profile
President: Lee Kyun Chul
Establishment: 1969
Paid-in capital: 50.6 billion won
Shareholding: 100% by Asahi Kasei Corp.
Net sales: 357.8 billion won (2005)
Head office: 154 Bugok-dong, Nam-gu, Ulsan, Korea
Main products: AN, acrylamide, sodium cyanide, ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid (EDTA)
AN production lines: •70,000 ton/year line converted to propane process
•230,000 ton/year line


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