TOKYO Dec 23 Japan's Mitsubishi Chemical
Holdings Corp will invest about 50 billion to 60
billion yen ($590 million to $710 million) in a plant that will
use low-cost materials from Dow Chemical Co and take
advantage of cheap North American shale gas, the Nikkei business
Mitsubishi Chemical plans to build an acrylic
resin-processing plant next door to a planned Dow ethylene plant
in Freeport, Texas, as estimates put the cost savings of making
chemicals there at about 95 percent of making them in Japan, the
paper said on Sunday without citing sources.
Mitsubishi Chemical had been considering methyl methacrylate
monomer production in the U.S., but nothing concrete has been
decided, a Mitsubishi Chemical spokesman said.
Cheap shale gas is prompting petrochemical companies such as
Chevron Phillips Chemical Co to build new plants in the U.S.,
intensifying price competition for resin products.
Mitsubishi Chemical's new plant will be able to make 250,000
million tons of acrylic resin materials a year, making it one of
the largest in the world, the Nikkei said.
Acrylic resin is used in liquid crystal display panels, car
lamps and construction materials, and the Japanese firm is
eyeing rising demand in central and South America, Southeast
Asia and in Africa.