SEOUL, July 10 (Korea Bizwire) – Toray Advanced Materials celebrated its ground-breaking ceremony of polyphenylene sulfide (PPS) resin production plant in Saemangeum in the southwest of Korea. By inducing investment from the Japanese materials company, the Saemangeum project could have a momentum to get more foreign investments.
Scheduled to be finished in August 2015, the plant will begin pilot operation in September. Once it begins full operation, the facility will have an annual production capacity of 8,600 tons of the chemical. Toray will spend a total of 300 billion won including 86 billion won of foreign direct investment by 2018 and expand its facility to make the world’s first plant to produce PPS and other related compounds in one place.
Polyphenylene sulfide, dubbed as the “super engineering plastic, with its light and heat-resistance characteristics, is used for materials for chemical plants, semiconductors, precision devices, parts for automobile engines and materials for reducing weights in electric and hybrid cars.
With the Toray plant, it is expected that other auto parts companies utilizing PPS as an input may enter into the Saemangeum industrial zone and make it a hub for automotive parts.
To host the Toray plant, several Southeast Asian governments competed with each other fiercely, but Toray decided Saemangeum as the location supported by the central and local governments of Korea. Especially, Saemangeum was selected as the location as procurement of other related materials is easy and it is close to China, the major export market for PPS.
Toray also considered other factors including skilled manpower, transportation and a new planned port in the region for the export of its output.
Once the plant is up and running, it is expected that the plant would have a large import substitution effect and further boost exports targeting the Asian market including China. Furthermore, Toray plans to foster South Korea as a strategic base for its PPS business by expanding production facilities. In line with this plan, the company plans to increase its annual production capacity of the engineering plastic to 17,000 tons by 2018.
Meanwhile, the size of Korea’s PPS compound market was 4,000 tons in 2012 and it will be expanded to 8,000 tons by 2020. The global market volume was 70,000 tons in 2012 and it is expected to grow about 8 percent annually to 150,000 tons by 2020, powered by expanded demands for electric and electronic products in the rising market.
Written by John Choi (firstname.lastname@example.org)