Lucite International Ltd. plans to launch its first methyl methacrylate monomer plant using its proprietary Alpha technology in Singapore at the end of 2007.
Southampton, England-based Lucite, which manufactures acrylic products including the Perpex line, said it will begin construction of the 265 million-pound-per-year MMA plant in June.
Meantime, the company - which claims to hold a 25 percent share of the global MMA market - has agreed to a U.S.-Asia collaboration with Asia's top MMA products manufacturer, Mitsubishi Rayon Co.
The agreement covers Lucite's new Singapore plant and a 309 million-pound-per-year MMA and methacrylate acid facility being planned in Texas by Mitsubishi Rayon Co. Ltd. of Tokyo. Each party will supply the other with products from its new plant, according to Lucite. The Mitsubishi Rayon unit will be launched by the end of 2009.
``The new capacity planned by our two groups creates an opportunity to share investment and production, enabling us to deliver cost efficiencies to our customers,'' said Lucite Chief Executive Officer Ian Lambert.
Each partner plans to gain a share of the rapidly growing acrylics market in China. Lucite is commissioning a $100 million MMA plant in Caojing, in Shanghai province. It will have capacity of more than 220 million pounds per year. Mitsubishi Rayon expects to start a 198 million-pound-per-year facility in Huizhou, China, by the second quarter of 2006.
With an annual capacity of nearly 2 billion pounds per year of acrylic products and annual sales of $1.2 billion, Lucite employs 2,000 at 16 plants, six of them in the United States and Mexico, with others in Europe and Asia.