Kuraray will break ground on a greenfield Kuraray Poval (PVOH) plant located in La Porte, Texas. This new plant will add to Kuraray’s vast portfolio of manufacturing in the United States, including EVAL (ethylene vinyl acetate) and SEPTON (co-block thermo-elastomers). Kuraray’s Poval plant will have a production capacity of over 40,000 tons in its first phase. Kuraray’s strategy for growth within the Houston area is due to developments in natural gas exploration technology, specifically shale gas and the excellence of area infrastructure and ideal workforce.
George Avdey, President and CEO of Kuraray America, Inc., said about Houston, “Kuraray felt this was an ideal place to establish a beachhead for further expansions.” Kuraray has a long history in production of vinyl acetate production starting in 1926 with the production of synthetic rayon, which was cutting-edge technology at the time. In the 1950s, Kuraray became Japan's first domestic producer of synthetic fiber, becoming a world leader in the commercialization of PVOH (Kuraray Poval) fiber under the KURALON brand. “Kuraray is one of the innovators and pioneers of the production of PVOH,” said Bob Chvala, Vice President and General Manager of the Poval Division.
With the new plant, Kuraray will be able to supply Poval to customers with global needs and provide the ability to second source materials from our own facilities in order to meet the increasing demand. Along with global presence, Kuraray provides unique technical service that allows customers to develop new applications and grades all in-house.