Japan's Idemitsu Kosan Co. has announced to increase production capacity for syndiotactic polystyrene (SPS) resin, which is made using proprietary technology and sold both domestically and abroad under the Xarec brand. As a result, the company will add production equipment at its Chiba plant when the facility is shut down for regular maintenance in June, raising capacity there by 40% to 7, 000 tpa. Prior to that, it will place pilot facilities into service in January for shipping samples of new products that are more transparent than existing offerings. The aim is to increase sales of material used in industrial films. The total investment will come to more than 1 bln Yen.
Further, the company began building a plant for SPS and other functional resins in China in October and plans to complete it in October 2009. The firm will also consider building a second factory at the Chiba site, depending on how well the Asian economy recovers. The reason for increasing production of SPS can be attributed to strengthening production of high-performance plastics used in autoparts in a bid to improve earnings in the chemicals business as price competition heats up in general-purpose products.