Mitsui Chemicals, Inc. (Tokyo: 4183; President & CEO: HASHIMOTO Osamu) and Prime Polymer Co., Ltd. (President: FUJIMOTO Kensuke; owned 65 percent by Mitsui Chemicals and 35 percent by Idemitsu Kosan Co., Ltd.) have launched operations at Mitsui Prime Advanced Composites Europe B.V. (ACE), a joint venture first established in June 2018 with Mitsui & Co., Ltd. (Tokyo: 8031; President & CEO: YASUNAGA Tatsuo). Located within Chemelot Industrial Park in the Netherlands, ACE marks the Mitsui Chemicals Group’s first polypropylene (PP) compounding site in Europe.
By launching ACE, the Mitsui Chemicals Group is getting together an integrated European system for research, production and sales. This will allow the group to provide effective lightweighting solutions to automakers and auto parts manufacturers with European bases while also responding to global demand growth.
At present, the Mitsui Chemicals Group operates production sites in eight regions around the world (Japan, U.S., Mexico, Europe, Thailand, China, India, Brazil) and research sites in six regions (Japan, U.S., Europe, Thailand, China, India). The group is now moving to bolster its research, production and sales networks for high-quality PP compounds, which will contribute to lightweighting in the automotive sector.
While forecasts point to reduced automotive production volume around the world due to the ongoing impact of COVID-19, it is expected that the global needs for automotive lightweighting will continue to rise as a result of strengthening environmental regulations. Mitsui Chemicals therefore expects that there will be no change to the upward demand trend for bumper, instrument panel and other auto parts materials employing PP compounds to meet these needs.
The lightweighting technologies of the Mitsui Chemicals Group have met with excellent feedback from a number of automakers, including those in Europe. By continuing to utilize these technologies, the Mitsui Chemicals Group aims to expand its network of production, sales and technology services for the supply of high-quality products, and will work proactively to further bolster and expand its business for PP compounds.