Tokyo, Japan - Tosoh Corp. is investing ¥20 000 million ($192 million) to raise its ethyleneamine capacity by 36 kilotonnes per annum (ktpa), with the aim of meeting rising demand for the materials, especially in Asia. Its existing plant is running at full capacity and is sold out, Tosoh said in a 1 April announcement.
The addition will boost ethyleneamine capacity at Tosoh's Nanyo Complex in Yamaguchi, Japan to 89 ktpa and "make it one of the world's top ethyleneamine manufacturers," the company said in its announcement.
Tosoh said it expects annual sales of ethyleneamines to exceed ¥30 000 million following the expansion.
"As Asia's sole manufacturer of ethyleneamines," Tosoh aims, through this increase in capacity, to supply annual demand growth of 2-3 percent worldwide and over 5 percent in Asia.
The first-phase of construction at Nanyo began in March 2008 and is slated for completion in March 2010, adding 26 ktpa. The second phase of construction will supply the additional 10 kpta and will be completed in March 2012.
Ethyleneamines and their derivatives are uses in a wide variety of applications, including manufacture of some polyols and catalysts for urethane systems. Other uses lie in epoxy hardeners, wet-strength resins for paper, chelates, and pharmaceutical and agrochemical intermediates.
Outside Asia, Tosoh's ethyleneamine operations are conducted through Delamine BV, a 50-50 joint venture the company established with Akzo Nobel NV, of the Netherlands.
Tosoh's competitors in ethyleneamines include Huntsman, with plants at Freeport, Texas and Terneuzen, The Netherlands; Dow Chemical Co., which recently raised capacity at its St Charles, Louisiana, site and also makes the products at Terneuzen in the Netherlands; and BASF SE, which makes the materials at its plant in Antwerp, Belgium.