Issue Date: June 4, 2007
Shin-Etsu Boosts Vinyl Intermediates
Shin-Etsu Chemical, the world's largest producer of polyvinyl chloride, is firming up plans to build plants in Texas that make PVC intermediates. The Japanese firm's U.S. subsidiary, Shintech, has just applied for a permit from state environmental authorities to build an 825,000-metric-ton-per-year vinyl chloride facility and a 550,000-metric-ton chlor-alkali plant. Although Dow Chemical is currently Shintech's main supplier of vinyl chloride, the firm says it is seeking greater control of raw material supplies. A spokesman in Tokyo adds that Shintech will source the raw material ethylene from outside suppliers rather than build its own cracker. The new plants, which could cost more than $800 million, will feed Shintech PVC plants in Texas and Louisiana. The project comes as the company is completing the construction of a $1 billion complex in Louisiana for producing PVC and its intermediates. The first line of a PVC unit that will eventually have 600,000 metric tons of capacity is set to open at the end of this year.
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