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New Facilities to Produce Acetone-based Isopropyl Alcohol at Osaka Works


Mitsui Chemicals, Inc., with its head office in Tokyo, Japan (Toshikazu Tanaka, President & CEO), positions strengthening its phenol chain operations as a fundamental strategy in the expansion of five highly competitive world-leading businesses on a global scale.

As a specific measure, the company will suspend operation of manufacturing facilities for isopropyl alcohol (IPA) from propylene and construct facilities for production of IPA from acetone, a product of the company’s phenol chain operations.

Outline of facilities

1. Product - IPA (isopropyl alcohol)
2. Location - Osaka Works (Takaishi, Osaka)
3. Capacity - 60,000 tons/year (Suspended plant capacity 28,000 tons/year)
4. Process - IPA production from acetone
5. Investment - Approximately 3 billion yen
6. Operation - April 2013 (tentative)

IPA is solvent widely used in coatings and inks. As it has minor environmental burden, demand continues to expand in line with Asia’s growing GDP. Shortages in raw material propylene are predicted, resulting in unstable supply and higher prices. As European and American markets favor light feed petrochemicals, continued high prices for propylene are forecasted. IPA exports to Asia from Europe and the United States are expected to continue to fall.

Against this backdrop, Mitsui Chemicals will switch production of IPA from propylene processes to acetone processes using proprietary highly active catalyst technology. The switchover will form the cornerstone of a new production framework for stable supply of IPA domestically and to Asian markets.

Establishment of a new IPA plant using acetone will strengthen the company’s competitiveness and customer trust. Addition of a new derivative to the phenol chain will support global expansion and reinforce the company’s world leading portfolio.


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