Mitsui Chemicals Going Ahead with PP Spunbonded Nonwovens Production in Thailand

November 14, 2001

Mitsui Hygiene Materials (Thailand) Co., Ltd. (MHM), engaged in the manufacture and sale of hygiene materials mainly consisting of polypropylene (PP) spunbonded nonwoven fabrics in Thailand, has firmed up its plans and is on track to construct a plant for producing 14,000-tons per year of PP spunbonded nonwoven fabrics (PSNF) in that country.

PSNF is one of the core businesses in the performance materials sector of Japan's Mitsui Chemicals, Inc. (MCI) which is the 100% owner of MHM. MHM was established in Bangkok on August 1, 2001, at a capital of 13.2 million US dollars, with its headquarters located in the Sathorn district.

Under the plan which has obtained the necessary investment promotional approval from Thailand's Board of Investment, the new plant is to be built in the Eastern Seaboard Industrial Area, Rayong Province, with start of commercial operation being targeted for December 2002. Investment for the plant is projected at roughly 6 billion yen (50 Million US dollars). Construction work scheduled to start in December 2001, is to be completed in September 2002.

In the background of the new investment this time is MCI's endeavor to fully bank upon the very significant growth of PSNF demand in East/Southeast Asia centered at Thailand and China, based on the expanding baby diapers application, with further growth being expected in the future.

Through the commercialization in Thailand this time, MCI is hoping to establish an optimal production and sales setup for PSNF used in paper diapers and female sanitary napkin applications.

MCI could thus secure its cost competitiveness and superior supply capability as compared to PSNF produced by overseas manufacturers.

In Japan MCI is pursuing expansion of its PSNF business based on a production capacity of 34,000 ton/year which MCI already has at its wholly owned subsidiary, Sunrex Industry Co., Ltd. in Yokkaichi, Japan. Once the Thai plant is on stream, MCI's total production capacity including its Japanese capacity would amount to 48,000 ton/year, thereby further boosting MCI's presence as Asia's top maker in this field.

For further information, please contact:

Mitsui Chemicals, Inc.
Corporate Communications Division
Tel: +81-3-3592-4060