June 21, 2007
Asahi Kasei Chemicals Corp.

Expansion of capacity for solution SBR
− new modified synthetic rubber for high-performance fuel-efficient tires −

Asahi Kasei Chemicals will increase annual production capacity for solution-polymerized styrene-butadiene rubber (S-SBR) by 10,000 tons at its subsidiary Japan Elastomer Co., Ltd. in Oita, Japan, with start-up scheduled for April 2008.

Worldwide demand for high-performance tires that provide improved fuel efficiency is growing rapidly as a result of increasing concern about global warming and high fuel costs, and this demand growth is forecast to remain robust. With a strong base in technology for S-SBR suited to such high-performance tires, Asahi Kasei Chemicals is in a leading position to expand supply to this growing market.

The expanded plant capacity will be dedicated to the production of a new line of modified S-SBR which went on sale in April 2007. Made possible by a major advance in polymer modification, this S-SBR raises the level of fuel efficiency enabled in high-performance tires. The additional production capacity will ensure stable supply as sales continue to rise sharply.

The capacity expansion announced today is the latest step in the Asahi Kasei Chemicals strategic advancement of synthetic rubber and elastomer operations with superior process technology and product development to achieve high value and performance in growing market segments. The business has been marked for expansion through strategic investment in the Asahi Kasei Group's Growth Action – 2010 medium-term business initiative, with a focus on both increasing production capacity and advancing technological development.

Outline of the capacity expansion
Plant: Oita Plant of Japan Elastomer
Capacity: 10,000 tons/year (increase to 62,000 tons/year)
Start-up: April 2008
Corporate profile of Japan Elastomer
President: Issei Katsuta
Head office: Tokyo, Japan
Establishment: August 1972
Shareholding: 75% by Asahi Kasei Chemicals, 25% by Showa Denko K.K.
Plant: Oita, Japan (within Showa Denko petrochemical complex)
Products: Synthetic rubber and elastomer


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