TOKYO, Dec. 10 -- Shareholder Tosoh Corp. will invest approximately JPY 5 billion (US $40 million) in Nippon Polyurethane Industry Co. Ltd. (NPU) to expand operations.
The investment will fund new carbon monoxide production facilities at Tosoh's Nanyo complex by June 2004 with a capacity projected at 8000 Nm3/h (cubic meters per hour). Carbon monoxide is a raw material for MDI, one of NPU's main products.
NPU, a leading supplier of isocyanates in the Far East, says Asian demand is strong and will grow to almost 10%/yr. Tosoh said NPU will continue to increase isocyanate capacity, which currently stands at 170,000 metric tons/yr for MDI, and 25,000 metric tons/yr for TDI.
The new facility will be more cost competitive since Tosoh will change from a coke-based to a naphtha-based process for the production of carbon monoxide, Tosoh said.
Tosoh supplies NPU with chlorine for the production of isocyanates while in return, the hydrochloric acid gas produced by NPU is used by Tosoh in their vinyl chloride monomer (VCM) production.
Tosoh and Hodogaya Chemical are joint shareholders in NPU. Tosoh is the principal shareholder in Hodogaya Chemical. NPU, which employs 650, posted sales of JPY 46 billion (US $372 million) for the period ending March 2002.