February 28, 2007
Asahi Kasei Chemicals Corp.

Increase in ion-exchange membrane production capacity
Asahi Kasei Chemicals Corp. (AKC) will increase production capacity for Aciplex™ ion-exchange membranes by 110,000 m2/year, raising total capacity to 250,000 m2/year. The membranes are used in the electrolysis of brine to produce chlorine and caustic soda. Expansion of the facility for Aciplex™ production, in Kawasaki, Japan, is scheduled for completion in June 2008.

AKC is the world's leading supplier of ion-exchange membranes for chlor-alkali production, with a global market share of some 40%. There is a clear outlook for growing membrane demand, as new membrane-process chlor-alkali plants and plant expansions will be required to enable increased production of PVC and caustic soda in the fast-growing economies of China and India, and as plants using the mercury and diaphragm processes for chlor-alkali are replaced with membrane-process plants in response to environmental concerns and the high cost of energy.

Increased ion-exchange membrane production capacity will enable AKC to meet this growing demand and, together with advanced R&D, reinforce its leadership in the field as the world's only supplier of the complete range of essential technology for membrane-process chlor-alkali, including its own electrolyzers, electrodes, ion-exchange membranes, and operating technology.

Outline of the expansion
Plant location: AKC Kawasaki plant complex
Capacity: 250,000 m2/year (increase by 110,000 m2/year)
Completion: June 2008


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