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Chemicals Group - Division & Unit

Commodity Chemicals Division A

  • Olefi ns & Aromatics Unit
  • Petrochemical Intermediates Unit
  • Polyester Unit

  • Chlor-Alkali Unit

In the Commodity Chemicals Division A, we trade raw materials for plastics and synthetic fibers, salt and caustic soda, among other commodities in the petrochemical and chlor-alkali fields. We also make investments to complement these transactions.

Demand for products in the year ended March 2011 was solid as a whole. Polyester raw materials in particular saw rapid growth in demand in China for use in textiles and PET bottles.

Demand is expected to continue increasing, led by emerging markets. However, we also expect to see major structural changes in the petrochemical industry and in distribution flows. These changes are being catalyzed by the supply of products from the Middle East, which has a competitive advantage in terms of cost, and a notable resurgence in the petrochemical industry in North America on the back of shale gas development. In response, we will leverage our expansive worldwide network to grasp changes in the business environment and customer needs, and by correcting imbalances between supply and demand in the market, we will strive to deliver value. In China and other growth markets especially, we plan to expand and enhance our flexible supply framework for both imported and domestically produced products, as we seek to grow our business further by developing within markets.

Global Polyester Fiber Production (10 thousand tons)
Global Polyester Fiber Production

AMSB is a joint venture between Japanese and Malaysian companies that is capable of producing 540,000 tons of paraxylene and 200,000 tons of benzene per year. It began operations in July 2000 as a base for basic materials for synthetic fibers and resin, where demand continues to increase.

Commodity Chemicals Division B

  • Methanol Unit
  • Ammonia Unit
  • Fertilizer Unit

  • Inorganic Chemicals Unit

In the Commodity Chemicals Division B, we trade chemical commodities such as methanol, ethanol, ammonia, chemical fertilizers and inorganic chemicals. We also make investments to complement these transactions.

Demand in the year ended March 2011 was firm overall. There was notable growth in demand for methanol in particular in China and other emerging markets.

In our business domain, we are seeing growing demand in emerging markets and an increase in supply due to new facility construction in various countries. These market dynamics are leading to changes in the structure of the industry and in distribution flows. We are responding by bolstering our ability to correct imbalances in supply and demand. One way we are doing this is by upgrading our logistics capabilities.

The mainstay products of this division are those using natural resources as feedstocks such as natural gas, mining products, and agricultural products. We expect these resources to increase in scarcity primarily because they are unevenly distributed around the world. In addition to increasing the volume we procure in our trading activities, we will pursue opportunities to make business investments in resource countries and regions, and sign long-term purchasing agreements. These actions will ensure we secure competitive products, so we can deliver value to customers, and will support our long-term business growth.

Methanol Demand (10 thousand tons)
Methanol Demand

METOR is a joint venture between MC, Venezuelan state-owned company Pequiven, Mitsubishi Gas Chemical Company, Inc. and others. In the year ended March 2011, METOR completed construction of an 850,000 ton/year second facility adjoining an existing plant that is capable of producing 750,000 tons of methanol a year. Commercial operations at the new facility began in August 2010.

KPI is a joint venture between Indonesian and Japanese companies that can produce 500,000 tons of ammonia a year. It commenced operations in February 2002 as a base for securing basic raw materials for industry.

Functional Chemicals Division

  • Plastics Unit
  • PVC Unit
  • Functional Materials Unit

  • Specialty Chemicals Unit
  • Electronics Materials Unit

This division conducts trading activities to strengthen and expand business chains globally in the midstream and downstream sections of the chemicals industry. Business chains extend from raw materials and other materials used in plastics, functional products and electronic materials fields, to materials and products. We also make investments to reinforce these activities.

In the year ended March 2011, demand increased in China and other emerging markets. Furthermore, transactions of all products handled increased, including plastics and vinyl chloride as we tapped into the global economic recovery.

We have seen some success following our motto of "Develop value-added materials on a global scale." But in order to grow further, we will aggressively develop and leverage competitive products, and our ability to evaluate manufacturers' technical capabilities and cost competitiveness, in addition to our overseas staff and group employees of spin-offs and sales companies. Our goal is to strengthen our functions on a consolidated basis to better serve customer needs.

In the year ended March 2011, we acquired an equity interest in a Taiwanese company that makes wafers for solar cells, and jointly acquired a U.S. manufacturer of resins for coatings and adhesives. In the year ending March 2012, we will strengthen and expand our business base and business chain globally by actively making these sorts of business investments.

Global PVC/PE Production Volume by Region (10 thousand tons)
Global PVC/PE Production Volume by Region

Utech Solar is a joint venture with a major Taiwanese company, and manufactures solar-grade silicon wafers, a base component of solar cells. In July 2011, production commenced at a plant with a capacity of 330,000 KW. Plans call for this capacity to be increased to 1 million KW in the future.

Life Sciences Division

  • Bio- Fine Chemicals Unit
  • Life Science Products Unit

The Life Sciences Division was formed on April 1, 2011 as the Chemicals Group's fourth division. This new division's main business domains are food chemicals, pharmaceuticals and agrochemicals.

In emerging markets, people are increasingly calling for a higher standard of living in line with industrial development, and these markets are expanding rapidly also as their populations grow. In developed countries and China, meanwhile, low birthrates and aging populations are behind changing social needs, namely for government measures to reduce medical expenses and a shift in mindset from treatment to prevention.

We believe that these changes will drive expansion in markets in terms of health, safety, comfort and good taste. Based on this belief, we will capitalize on our chemical and technological strengths as well as the inherent strength of a trading company network to capture growth in global markets, targeting food chemicals, pharmaceuticals and agrochemicals.

Global Spending on Medicines($ billion)
Global Spending on Medicines

Since commencing operations in 2005, MTIS has been supplying the sweetener maltitol mainly to major confectionery makers around the world. Made from tapioca starch, this product is low calorie and helps prevent tooth decay.

Saudi Petrochemical Project Unit

MC owns an equity interest of just over 30% in SPDC Ltd. which is a shareholder in Eastern Petrochemical Co. (SHARQ), a Saudi Arabian polyethylene and ethylene glycol producer. The petrochemical operations of SPDC are one of the Chemicals Group's most important businesses as a source of raw materials in the upstream part of fields such as packaging, film, PET resins and polyester fiber.

At SHARQ, since the completion of third-stage expansion, which came onstream in April 2010, output has nearly doubled. MC sells the products produced by SHARQ to customers in China and elsewhere in Asia as well as Europe. As part of measures to strengthen sales of resin, we are investing in film, plastic bag and other processing businesses in the downstream part of the value chain. In tandem with this, these cost-competitive products are imported and sold to Japanese users through our subsidiary Mitsubishi Shoji Plastics Corp. in the packaging materials value chain. In terms of sales in Japan, we are working to expand transactions through close cooperation with the Living Essentials Group, including Mitsubishi Shoji Packaging Corporation.

We plan to continue strengthening the value chain from basic materials to finished products to capitalize on SHARQ's increased supply capacity.

Production Capacity Since SHARQ Operations Commenced (10 thousand tons/year)
Production Capacity Since SHARQ Operations Commenced

After the completion of stage expansion, SHARQ has the capacity to produce 2.5 million tons of ethylene, 1.55 million tons of polyethylene, and 1.4 million tons of ethylene glycol per year, almost double the existing capacity. SHARQ thus has the largest annual production capacity for a single plant in the world.