Mitsubishi Rayon Co., Ltd. and Mitsui & Co., Ltd. have signed a memorandum of understanding to agree to commence detailed feasibility studies for the establishment of a joint venture in the United States to produce methyl methacrylate (MMA) monomer with a newly built world-scale unit.
MRC will be the majority shareholder of this joint venture. MRC and Mitsui have also entered into a Non-Binding Material Terms of Agreement with The Dow Chemical Company concerning potential partial supply of feedstock from Dow to the joint venture through Mitsui for the production of MMA monomer and potential supply of MMA monomer from the joint venture to Dow.
MRC and Mitsui will move the project forward by applying the integrated strengths of both companies. MRC is one of the global leaders in the design, development, and manufacture of acrylic-based products, and aims to further expand its activities in the methacrylate’s industry by applying the innovative ethylene-based production process "Alpha technology", developed and commercialized by Lucite International, a subsidiary of MRC, to the competitive feedstock benefited from the shale gas/oil revolution in the United States. Mitsui is multilaterally pursuing business that ranges from product sales, worldwide logistics and financing, through to the development of major international infrastructure and other projects by utilizing its global operating locations, network, and information resources. The joint venture intends to secure access to ethylene from Dow's U.S. Gulf Coast production network. The joint venture plans to supply a part of the 250,000-ton annual MMA output to Dow. Operations are targeted to start at the end of 2018.