TOKYO - Japanese makers of intermediate resin products such as styrene monomer and acrylonitrile are stepping up production in response to shortages that have jacked up prices. Mitsui Toatsu Chemicals Inc. of Tokyo is increasing output of styrene monomer at its facility in Ube, from 529.1 million pounds a year to 573.2 million pounds. The firm will spend nearly $2 million on the September plant expansion and expects to be operational in October.
Part of the expansion will involve enlargement of docking facilities to prepare for an anticipated rise in exports. Mitsui Toatsu has been exporting 66.1 million pounds to 88.2 million pounds of styrene monomer a year.
By the end of November, Asahi Chemical Industry Co. Ltd. of Tokyo will increase acrylonitrile production capacity at its Kawasaki plant from 220.4 million pounds to 264.5 million pounds and by next May, will step up the acrylonitrile capacity of its plant in Kurashiki by 22 million pounds, to 418.9 million pounds.
Day International buying RBX Holdings
ROANOKE, N.C.-Four months after purchasing Day International Inc., American Industrial Partners is buying another plastics and rubber company - RBX Holdings Corp.
New York-based investment group AIP signed a definitive agreement with RBX owner AEA Investors Inc., another New York firm, on Aug. 4, said Jerry Kirschke, RBX vice president of human resources.
Neither side would release a purchase price, but they expect to complete the deal in the fall.
AEA Investors served as more of a hands-off owner, but Steven Schaefer, RBX president and chief executive officer, expects AIP to support his firm's capital projects and acquisition plans.
``I think they're going to have a little more involvement,'' said Schaefer.
RBX owns OleTex Inc., a plastics firm in South Holland, Ill., plus five rubber product companies and two custom mixers.
AIP bought rubber product maker Day International from Cleveland's M.A. Hanna Co. in April for $200 million.