MOSCOW (MRC) -- Sumitomo Chemical has completed construction of two catalyst manufacturing lines in its Chiba Works location (Ichihara, Chiba) to meet the demand of companies licensing its polypropylene (PP) and propylene oxide (PO) manufacturing technology, in order to enhance its licensing business, said the company.
Sumitomo Chemical’s PP production technology has a proven track record of successful operations at various locations in the world, such as the Company’s Chiba Works in Japan and licensee companies overseas, including its affiliates, namely, The Polyolefin Company (Singapore) Pte Ltd and Petro Rabigh in Saudi Arabia, offering high quality products while maintaining stable plant operation over a period of time. As far as PO is concerned, the Company's production technology is based on a PO-only process, in which PO alone is manufactured without any accompanying coproducts by recycling cumene. The cumene method, which Sumitomo Chemical was the first in the world to commercialize, has the distinct advantage of achieving a high PO yield, when combined with the use of the Company's proprietary high-performance epoxidation catalyst, while ensuring superior stability in plant operation. It was licensed to S-OIL Corp. of South Korea and a subsidiary of PTT Global Chemical Public Company Limited of Thailand, in addition to the company’s affiliate Petro Rabigh. Furthermore the company signed a technology licensing agreement with Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited of India in July 2019.
Sales of catalysts to licensing partners are expected to generate stable revenue that is unlikely to be affected by the market environment, as demand increases as more technology licensing agreements are signed. Sumitomo Chemical is committed to sustaining revenue by not only obtaining one-time technology licensing fees, but also through the sale of catalysts and providing technical support after licensing.
Ethylene and propylene are feedstocks for producing polyethylene (PE) and polypropylene (PP).
According to MRC's ScanPlast report, Russia's estimated PE consumption totalled 1,724,670 tonnes in the first ten months of 2019, up by 7% year on year. Shipments of all PE grades increased. The estimated PP consumption in the Russian market in January-October 2019 totalled 1,066,520 tonnes, up by 7% year on year. Supply of block copolymers of propylene (PP block copolymer) and homopolymer of propylene (homopolymer PP) increased, demand for statistical copolymers (PP random copolymer) decreased.
Sumitomo Chemical intends to work with its global licensing partners and expand the business portfolios in its Petrochemicals & Plastics Sector.