Showa Denko has decided to build a 100,000t/y ethyl acetate plant at its Oita Complex using its proprietary production process technology. The plant will start commercial production in June 2014.
Ethyl acetate is used in wide-ranging applications, including printing ink, paint, electronic materials, pharmaceuticals, and agrochemicals. Demand for the product is expected to continue growing inside and outside Japan. Meanwhile, the business environment is changing rapidly due to the changes in the supply of raw materials and expansions in production capacities in neighboring countries. SDK has developed an innovative process technology in which ethylene is directly added to acetic acid, enabling efficient production of high-quality ethyl acetate. The technology is already being used at our production site in Indonesia.
SDK positions its ethyl acetate operation as a core business in the Petrochemicals segment. By building the new ethyl acetate plant, SDK aims to better meet diversified and sophisticated customer requirements, and strengthen its status as a stable supplier of high-quality product.
The new process technology uses a solid heteropolyacid catalyst developed by SDK. The technology won Green & Sustainable Chemistry Network's 6th GSC Award (Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry Prize) and The Chemical Society of Japan's 56th CSJ Award for Technical Development. Furthermore, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry has decided to subsidize this new ethyl acetate plant as "investment in leading-edge-technology-based plant and equipment."