MOSCOW (MRC) -- Asahi Kasei has decided to discontinue its business for the styrenic resins SAN (Styrene-acrylonitrile resin), ABS (Acrylonitrile butadiene styrene), and ACS, according to Kemicalinfo.
According to the company, the operations of SAN plant at Kawasaki Works will be closed in March 2021.
The business to be discontinued began with the 1962 start-up of the SAN plant in Kawasaki, now part of Asahi Kasei’s Kawasaki Works, followed by the 1964 start-up of the ABS plant at the same site (function transferred to Mizushima in 1978). The ACS business began in 1995.
The ABS plant at Asahi Kasei’s Mizushima Works, which started up in 1967, was closed in 2015 due to deteriorating profitability as domestic Japanese demand decreased significantly.
As per the company, the decision for business discontinuation was based on a judgment that there were no clear prospects to establish the superiority of Asahi Kasei’s products in the expanding global ABS market and that it would be difficult to formulate a future expansion strategy.
Under its Cs+ for Tomorrow 2021 medium-term management initiative, Asahi Kasei is prioritizing and allocating management resources to develop a business portfolio of sustainable and high value-added businesses.
The company said that the resources of the discontinued business will be reallocated to other businesses of Asahi Kasei.
We remind that, as MRC informed earlier, Asahi Kasei Mitsubishi Chemical Ethylene Corp, a joint venture of Asahi Kasei Corp and Mitsubishi Chemical Corp ,delayed the restart of a naphtha cracker in Mizushima, western Japan, to Jan. 28 from Jan. 24, 2020. The delay was due to a glitch in the steam system, which is operated in case of an emergency, Asahi Kasei said in a statement. The company shut the naphtha cracker on Jan. 14 after a malfunction in the refrigerant system. The naphtha cracker has a production capacity of 567,000 tonnes a year without any turnaround and 496,000 tonnes with turnaround, the firm said.
According to MRC's ScanPlast report, January 2020 estimated consumption of polystyrene (PS) and styrene plastics in Russia dropped by 10% year on year, totalling 41,420 tonnes. Russian plants' overall output also decreased (by 3%) year on year in January 2020 to 43,260 tonnes.