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News Releases 2000
December 4, 2000
Shutdown of Ethylene Production Facility at Yokkaichi Plant
Mitsubishi Chemical Corporation
Since February 1999, Mitsubishi Chemical Corporation (MCC, Head office: Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo; President: Kanji Shono) has been making preparations to shut down the ethylene production facility (annual production capacity: 270,000 tons) at its Yokkaichi Plant, and to concentrate ethylene production at its Mizushima Plant and Kashima Plant, thereby achieving significant reductions in olefin costs. Accordingly, we have decided to shut down the facility as of January 12, 2001.

Following the shutdown of the facility, the Mizushima Plant and the Kashima Plant will supply ethylene and propylene to the Yokkaichi Plant and to the derivative operations of other companies within the complex.

MCC built its first 22,000 ton-per-year ethylene production facility at its Yokkaichi Plant in May 1959, at the start of the petrochemical industry boom in Japan. Ethylene production at the Yokkaichi Plant was subsequently expanded in response to further developments in the Japanese petrochemical industry. The ethylene production facility currently in operation has been in continuous use for over 30 years, since March 1968. However, with the operation (commencing in the middle of 2000) of large-scale ethylene production facilities in Saudi Arabia, Taiwan and Singapore, it is becoming increasingly difficult to export olefins and derivative products. Also, large cuts in import tariffs on major petroleum products (which will come into effect as of 2004) are expected to further dampen any increase in domestic demand. In light of these factors, MCC conducted a review of its ethylene production scheme, ultimately deciding to shut down the facility at the Yokkaichi Plant.

In conjunction with the shutdown of the ethylene production facility, the ethylene glycol (EG) and ethylene oxide (EO) production facilities at the Yokkaichi Plant will, as of January 15, 2001, also be shut down, with production to be concentrated thereafter at the Kashima Plant. EG sales within Japan will continue as before, and exports will be covered by measures with overseas products. EO will be transported from Kashima to Yokkaichi, permitting continued EO sales to the central and western region of Japan, and ensuring uninterrupted production of EO derivatives at the Yokkaichi Plant.

With our previously announced three-year Mid-term Plan, which commenced as of this fiscal year, we have identified our petrochemical business as the fundamental business which can support MCC Group's framework. Under our policy of "Selection and Concentration", we intend to implement a strategy for growth that will ensure stable revenue, through comprehensive cost-reduction measures and through an overall reorganization of our business structure including a review of current alliances. Additionally, we will strengthen revenues through our basic strategy for our core business, "domestic is domestic, overseas is overseas".


For further information, please contact
Public Relations Department,
Mitsubishi Chemical Corporation
Tel: [+81] 3-3283-6274

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