Mitsui Chemicals Building Second PTA Plant in Thailand

November 13, 2000

Aiming to capture more of the rapidly expanding Asian demand for purified terephthalic acid ("PTA"), Japanese chemicals manufacturer Mitsui Chemicals, Inc.("MCI") has decided to construct a second PTA production unit at Siam Mitsui PTA Co., Ltd. ("SMPC"), MCI announced today

SMPC, a 50/50 joint venture between MCI and Cementhai Chemicals Co., Ltd.("CCC") established in Bangkok in 1996, specializes in the manufacture and sale of PTA, the principal raw material going into polyester fibers and PET bottle resins. CCC is a wholly owned petrochemicals subsidiary of Thailand's The Siam Cement Public Company Limited.

The second plant to be built this time using MCI's proprietary PTA production process adjacent to the No. 1 plant at SMPC's site in Map Ta Phut, Thailand, will have a capacity of 400,000 tons per year. Construction is scheduled to begin in January 2001, with commercial operation expected to begin in January 2003. The new plant will lift SMPC's aggregate PTA capacity to 800,000 tons per year.

Positioning PTA as one of its core businesses, MCI has been studying alternative Asian locations for siting its additional PTA capacities, noting that Asia's PTA market has been growing rapidly at an average rate of 13 percent per year over the past five years, with prospects for further growth.

MCI is actively expanding its PTA business in the entire region, with three PTA plants in Japan in addition to capacities in the form of joint ventures in Korea (Samsung Petrochemical Co., Ltd. together with BP Amoco and Samsung Group), Indonesia (P.T. Amoco Mitsui PTA Indonesia together with BP Amoco and Mitsui & Co., Ltd.) and Thailand (at SMPC).