26 October 2012

Mitsui: Plant expansion at special bisphenol joint venture in Germany

26 October 2012 - Mitsui & Co., Ltd. has commenced work on a plant expansion at its German joint venture Hi-Bis GmbH. A ground-breaking ceremony was held on October 1, with attendees including the Minister-President of Sachsen-Anhalt and the Japanese Ambassador to Germany.

Hi-Bis GmbH is a joint venture between Mitsui (35% stake), Honshu Chemical Industry Co., Ltd. (55% stake - Mitsui associated company) and Bayer (10% stake) which started commercial operations in 2005. Hi-Bis is a special bisphenol manufacturer exclusively supplying Bayer with special bisphenol for use in a special polycarbonate (under the brand name Apec). Hi-Bis has seen strong demand for its strategic product Apec for use in the automotive industry, and given Apec's outstanding heat-resistant properties, new applications are expected to be developed in the future. Approximately 5 billion yen has been invested to double the plant's current capacity in preparation for a 10,000 ton/year system by the summer of 2014. 

The project is the first manufacturing investment by a Japanese chemicals manufacturer in the state of Sachsen-Anhalt, which is located in the former East Germany. In addition to contributing to the local economy through the creation of employment as a result of the expansion in the size of the business, the project aims to expand Mitsui's cooperative relationship with Bayer. 

Source: Mitsui