Kuraray Co. Ltd. will boost the ethylene vinyl alcohol copolymer production capacity by 12,000 tpa of Kuraray America, Inc., a wholly owned Kuraray subsidiary located in Pasadena, Texas. The facility, to be expanded by 4 bln yen, is scheduled to start operations in January 2014. . Current production capacity at Pasadena is 35,000 tpa.
EVAL boasts superior gas barrier properties. EVAL demand is steadily expanding, particularly for food packaging applications that offer better food preservation and for automobile fuel tanks that effectively isolate gasoline vapor. In recent years, EVAL applications have expanded to include wallpaper, pipes for floor heating systems and thermal insulation boards for refrigerators. Previously, the increase in EVAL demand has been centered primarily in industrialized nations, such as Japan and the United States as well as those in Europe. However, demand is now rising in emerging nations. To secure a stable supply structure, Kuraray has concluded that it is necessary to boost its EVAL production capacity.
Its other facilities comprise EVAL Europe N.V. at Antwerp, Belgium with a 24,000 tpa capacity and Kuraray Co., Ltd. at Okayama, Japan with 10,000 tpa capacity.