Asahi Kasei Chemicals Corp., a subsidiary of Asahi Kasei Corp., has agreed with PTT Public and Marubeni to set up facilities to produce acrylonitrile (ACN) and methyl methacrylate (MMA). The ACN plant will have an annual capacity of 200,000 tons, MMA plant will produce 70,000 tons. As a result, the Asahi Kasei group's ACN production capacity will total 950,000 tons, on par with that of global leader Ineos Group Ltd. of Britain. The plant will be the first in the world to produce ACN from propane gas on a commercial basis, resulting in 30% lower than conventional costs Both plants will be set up in the Rayong province. Their construction will start in summer this year, with operations expected to begin in late 2010.
The joint venture, to be named PTT Asahi Chemical Co., will be owned 48.5% each by Asahi Kasei Chemicals and Thai oil firm PTT Public Co, and 3% by Japanese trading house Marubeni Corp. Asahi Kasei Chemicals will invest a total of 20 billion yen, and total investment is estimated at 80 billion yen.