Japan's Ube Industries Ltd. completed an expansion project in March to increase the output of nylon 6 at its plant in Castellón, Spain.
In a bid to meet growing demand for nylon films, particularly in substitution of polyvinylidene chloride (PVDC) film wrapping for foods, toiletries and detergents, Ube added 10,000 metric tons of annual nylon 6 capacity at its Spanish facility. This already has a 22,500 metric tons of annual capacity for nylon 6 and 6/6 resins.
Packaging demand has been extending into emerging markets in South America, Eastern Europe and in the Middle East.
The company, a major global nylon 6 player, is said to be using the extra capacity for nylon 6 and 6/6 copolymer and also for 6 and 6/12 terpolymer which has until now only been available in Japan. Material produced in Spain is toll compounded, but Ube intends to introduce its own capacity in 2016.
Meanwhile, Tokyo-based Ube has announced significant consolidation of its chemical businesses through the integration of two subsidiaries: its chemicals and plastics company, and the specialty chemicals and products company. They will be part of Ube's Chemicals Company.
This will “accelerate the selective focus on business segments”, the group said. “The move is also aimed at optimizing the allocation of business resources and enhancing operating efficiencies, while further unifying the direction of manufacturing, sales, and engineering to rapidly address customer needs,” it said in a statement.
Under the umbrella of the newly formed division fall four separate businesses: the Engineering Plastics, Caprolactam and Industrial Chemical Business unit; Polyamide and Specialty Products Business Unit; Battery Materials and Fine Chemicals Business Unit and the Synthetic Rubber Business Unit.
The integration will bring together Ube's Europe and Asia operational units overseeing key operations in Spain and Thailand under its new subsidiary. The European unit will also now take in Ube's chemicals business in the Americas to boost expansion in that region, it said.