(prw.com) -- Mitsubishi Plastics plans to open a PET film plant in China, its first in the country, prompted by growing demand in the flat panel display market for television screens and computer monitors.
The CNY24bn yen (┬2.6bn) facility in Suzhou, Jiangsu province, will start operating in April 2013, with a single line with capacity of 22,500 tonnes, the company said in a 29 September announcement.
MPI, based in Tokyo, plans to add a second line in April 2015 and double capacity to 45,000 tonnes.
The company has been rapidly expanding its capacity for PET film for that market this year, with the announcement in March that it had completed an 80,000 tonne PET film facility in Santo, Japan, which it said is the largest single facility in the world.
The flat panel display market is "likely to have steady growth" as new plants for liquid crystal screen manufacturers are expected to come on-stream in 2012, Mitsubishi said.
The China capacity will be new capacity and not shift manufacturing from other locations, a company spokesman said.
When the Suzhou plant starts operating, Mitsubishi said its lines are expected to be the largest single lines for optical PET film in the world. The firm said it expects to formally open a sales and service subsidiary in Suzhou in January 2011.
In its March announcement about the Santo plant, the company said that demand for optical-grade PET film started recovering from the global financial crisis in spring 2009, and it said supplies were tight.
The Suzhou plant is expected to have annual sales of CNY20bn (┬2.2bn) when fully operational.