Nippon Shokubai has ended chemical production in Suita, Japan, but is considering building an R&D center at the site. The company opened the plant in 1943 to produce phthalic anhydride. In later years, it added maleic anhydride, unsaturated polyester, acrylic resins, and fine-particle products. The site became less important to Shokubai in 2003 when it put its unsaturated polyester business into a joint venture with Mitsui Chemicals. Shokubai expects to open the R&D center in 2016, but it has not disclosed what the research focus will be.