March 19, 2008
Asahi Kasei Chemicals Corp.
Asahi Kasei Corp.

Construction of AN and MMA plants in Thailand
Asahi Kasei Chemicals Corp. (AKCC), PTT Public Company Limited of Thailand, and Marubeni Corp. have reached agreement to construct acrylonitrile (AN) and methyl methacrylate (MMA) plants in Thailand through a joint venture. Production capacities will be 200 thousand tons/year of AN and 70 thousand tons/year of MMA, with start-up scheduled for late 2010.

AKCC's AN business is the largest in Asia, where steady market growth is forecast, and the second largest in the world. Identified as a global growth business in the Asahi Kasei Group's Growth Action – 2010 strategic mid-term initiative, the AN business is a high priority for expansion through focused allocation of management resources.

The new AN plant in Thailand will use the world's first commercial process for AN production from propane feedstock, a process developed by AKCC. The use of competitive-cost propane as feed enables lower production cost than the conventional process for AN, which relies on propylene feed. With a stable, competitive supply of propane secured by PTT, the new plant will enjoy exceptional cost competitiveness in the global market for AN, serving as an important key in the strategic expansion of AKCC's AN business.

The new plant will also raise AKCC's total AN supply capacity to nearly match that of the world-leading position, and AKCC is planning an additional AN plant in the Middle East which will secure the company's place as the world's largest supplier upon targeted start-up by 2014.

By using hydrogen cyanide byproduct from the AN plant as feedstock for MMA production with the acetone cyanohydrin (ACH) process, the new MMA plant in Thailand will achieve superior cost competitiveness as AKCC increases market share through expanded sales in the growing markets of Asia.
Outline of the new AN plant
Capacity: 200,000 tons/year
Process: Propane process
Location: Map Ta Phut, Rayong, Thailand
Feedstock supply: Propane from PTT, imported ammonia
Groundbreaking: Summer 2008
Start-up: Late 2010
Sales channel: Sale in Thailand by the JV, elsewhere by AKCC
Annual sales forecast: ≈¥40 billion
Outline of the new MMA plant
Capacity: 70,000 tons/year
Process: ACH process
Location: Map Ta Phut, Rayong, Thailand
Feedstock supply: Acetone from PTT affiliate PTT Phenol Co., Ltd.
Groundbreaking: Summer 2008
Start-up: Late 2010
Sales channel: Sale in Asean by the JV, elsewhere by AKCC
Annual sales forecast: ≈¥18 billion (incl. 160,000 tons/year ammonium sulfate)
Scale of investment
Of a total project expense of some US$750 million, or approximately ¥80 billion, half will be raised through project finance. AKCC will make an investment of some ¥20 billion as part of the Asahi Kasei Group's strategic investment under Growth Action – 2010.
Profile of the joint venture
Company name: PTT Asahi Chemical Co., Ltd. (PTTAC)
Head office: Bangkok, Thailand
President: Pailin Chuchottaworn
Registered capital: 12.4 billion baht (≈¥40 billion)
Shareholding: 48.5% by AKCC, 48.5% by PTT, 3% by Marubeni
Profile of PTT Plc.
Head office: Bangkok, Thailand
President: Prasert Bunsumpun
Establishment: October 2001
Business fields:
  • Oil Business Group
  Petroleum production, import, and export; sale of LPG, gasoline, and other refined products.
  • Exploration & Production and Gas Business Group
  Natural gas production, distribution, and separation.
  • Petrochemical and Refining Business Group
  Petroleum refining; production of ethylene, propylene, and other petrochemicals.
Shareholder equity: 398,652 million baht (at year-end 2007)
Net sales: 1,495,806 million baht (in 2007)


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