June 30, 2009
Asahi Kasei Corp.
Asahi Kasei Chemicals Corp.

Conclusion of memorandum for acetonitrile production in Thailand
Asahi Kasei Chemicals, PTT Public Company Limited, Marubeni Corp., and their joint venture, PTT Asahi Chemical Company Limited (PTTAC), have concluded a memorandum of understanding to study the commercial production of acetonitrile in Thailand.

Acetonitrile is a solvent used throughout the world in the manufacture of pharmaceuticals, as an analytical reagent, and in agrichemicals and many other fields, with especially strong demand growth in pharmaceutical applications. As commercial grades of acetonitrile are generally produced by refining the crude acetonitrile obtained as a byproduct of acrylonitrile (AN), acetonitrile supply is closely correlated to the capacities and operating rates of AN plants. Supply of acetonitrile is currently insufficient to meet growing demand.

Under the memorandum announced today, plans will be formulated for the recovery and refinement of crude acetonitrile from the AN plant of PTTAC currently under construction in Thailand. Alleviating the supply shortfall as demand growth continues apace, production of acetonitrile at PTTAC's new facilities, together with the production of AN, MMA, and by-product ammonium sulfate, would enable PTTAC to further strengthen its foundation for stable earnings.

PTTAC will now initiate the process of selecting a contractor to perform the engineering and design, equipment and materials procurement, and construction (EPC) of the acetonitrile production facility, supported by Asahi Kasei Chemicals, seeking to obtain final authorization from its three parent companies and to conclude an agreement with the selected contractor within the year.
Outline of planned acetonitrile facility
Capacity: 12,000 tons/year
Location: Map Ta Phut, Rayong, Thailand (within PTTAC's AN/MMA plant grounds)
Feedstock: Crude acetonitrile byproduct from AN plant
Production technology: Licensed by Asahi Kasei Chemicals
EPC contract: Late 2009
Start-up: Second half of 2011.
Overview of acetonitrile business of Asahi Kasei Chemicals
  An acetonitrile production facility with capacity of 14,000 tons/year in Kawasaki, Kanagawa, Japan, supplies a wide range of customers in Europe and Asia, including Japan, Southeast Asia, and India. The addition of an acetonitrile facility in Thailand would further extend the position of Asahi Kasei Chemicals as a world-leading acetonitrile supplier.

At the same time, Asahi Kasei Chemicals is studying a modification of its AN plant in Mizushima (Kurashiki, Okayama, Japan) to increase the rate of recovery of crude acetonitrile for refinement at the Kawasaki acetonitrile facility, further expanding its capability for stable supply as the acetonitrile business continues to grow.
Outline of PTT Asahi Chemical Company Limited (PTTAC)
President: Pailin Chuchottaworn
Establishment: August 2006
Head office: Bangkok, Thailand
Plant (under construction): Map Ta Phut, Rayong, Thailand
Registered capital: 12,400 million baht (≈¥40 billion)
Shareholding: 48.5% by Asahi Kasei Chemicals, 48.5% by PTT, 3.0% by Marubeni
Products: AN (200,000 tons/year capacity, propane process), MMA (70,000 tons/year capacity, ACH process), by-product ammonium sulfate (160,000 tons/year capacity)
Start-up: Scheduled for late 2010
Total investment: ≈$750 million (of which, $400 million raised by project financing)
Outline of PTT Public Company Limited
President: Prasert Bunsumpun
Established: October 2001
Business fields:
  Oil Business Group -
    Petroleum production, import, and export; sale of LPG, gasoline, and other refined products.
  Gas Business Group -
    Natural gas exploration, distribution, and separation.
  Petrochemical and Refining Business Group -
    Petroleum refining; production of ethylene, propylene, and other petrochemicals.
Registered capital: 28,572 million baht (¥74.3 billion, as of December 31, 2008)
Net sales: 2,000, 816 million baht (¥5.2 trillion, year ended December 31, 2008)


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