By Liz White, UT staffTokyo-Mitsui Takeda Chemicals Inc. (MTCI) is to take a controlling 70 percent stake in its Tianjin Cosmo Polyurethane Co. Ltd (TCPC) joint venture in Tianjin, and said it aims to set up a 17 kilotonne-per-annum facility for coatings resins there by mid-2006. The Japanese group said its aim is "to capture the rapidly growing demand for polyurethane resins in China." MTCI's partners, Tianjin Petrochemical Corp. and Chori, Co. Ltd will sell 20 percent and 5 percent of TCPC, respectively, to the Japanese group. Tianjin Petrochemical retains 25 percent and Chori 5 percent of the Tianjin-based polyurethane operation.Tianjin Cosmo Polyurethane will become a consolidated MTCI subsidiary, with its capital raised to RMB 90 million ($11 million) from RMB 30 million, said Mitsui Takeda, in a 17 Aug announcement. The facility for PU resins, at TCPC's ChengLin Industry District site, will start-up in July 2006, mainly producing PU resins for coatings, paints, and flexible packaging adhesives, said Mitsui-Takeda's statement. MTCI gave figures which indicate that about half of the world's PU wood coatings are made in China. And the chemicals group points out that Chinese enforcement of regulations on free-TDI (toluene diisocyanate) content in hardeners for PU paints means that "the demand of hardeners with lower free-TDI is rapidly expanding." Another area where, according to MTCI, demand for PU resins is continuing to rise steeply is in urethane-based adhesives for food packaging such as boilable and retortable pouches-often used for pet food. Such demand indicates just how rapidly lifestyles are changing in China, and MTCI said its new plant is intended to meet this increased demand. MTCI's business covers TDI, methylene diphenyldiisocyanate (MDI), polypropylene glycol (PPG) and various polyurethane resins. The Tianjin Cosmo unit, set up in 1993, has been making PPG compounds (resin systems), and importing TDI and MDI from Japan. Mitsui Takeda said the consolidation of the Chinese unit and its new facilities mean that TCPC will play an important part in MTCI's strategies for its PU businesses in China."