Japanese firm Denka Co. Ltd., recently revealed plans to deal with globally tight supply for Chloroprene Rubber (CR), and to increase its production of CR by 10,000 tonnes. Plans include resuming operations at its domestic Omi Plant and removing bottlenecks at Denka Performance Elastomer LLC (DPE), a subsidiary based in the US state of Louisiana.
Denka will invest several hundred million yen into these efforts, which will take 1.5–2 years before entering operation. The company is currently considering whether to move forward with production increases at both plants or focus on just one.
Denka’s Omi Plant produces CR using the acetylene method, and boasts a world-leading production capacity of 100,000 tonnes/year for the material. Meanwhile, DPE’s plant is able to produce 50,000 tonnes/year of CR using the butadiene method.
Global CR demand is estimated at 280,000 tonnes/year, and is expected to remain stable. Denka intends to sell high-performance grades of CR, and plans for this grade to make for an annual business scale of 2.5 billion yen by 2020.
Commenting on current market conditions, Denka says that further price increases may be necessary in the future to achieve and maintain stable supply.
Going forward, Denka intends to make more concrete plans for a production increase within the first half of the year.