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SDK To Use Waste Plastic for Ammonia Production

October 24, 2002

Showa Denko K.K. (SDK) has decided to use waste plastic to produce ammonia and other chemical products in Kawasaki. Based on SDK's plan devised in accordance with Kawasaki City's "eco-town project," waste plastic (used containers and wrapping for consumer products, and industrial wastes) collected from homes and plants in Kawasaki City will be recycled into various chemical products.

Under the plan, 195 tons per day of collected waste plastic will be gasified and processed into 175 tons of liquid ammonia and into other chemical products. The feedstock will be fully recycled, leaving no waste at all.

Capital expenditures for this project will be ¥7.4 billion, of which ¥3,737 million is expected to be covered by subsidies from the Government and Kawasaki City in line with the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry's policy to promote environment-friendly regional development programs.

Construction of the plant has already started, with completion scheduled for March 2003. Commercial operations will begin in April 2003.

Features of the business plan are as follows:

  • 1.Collected waste plastic will be gasified at temperatures as high as 1,300°C or more. As a result, there is no need to remove polyvinyl chloride from collected waste plastic.
  • 2.Chlorine contained in the resulting gas will be neutralized with alkali and then used in the electrolytic soda process at Kawasaki.
  • 3.Sulfur will be recycled into sodium bisulfite.
  • 4.Metallic impurities will be recovered in the state of reduced metals and sold.
  • 5.Purified gases will be used in the synthesis of ammonia.

SDK is building the plant in the Ogimachi district in Kawasaki. A pretreatment facility for producing refused plastic fuel (RPF) from waste plastic and readying for gasification process will be built on a site of approximately 6,500 square meters. And the gasification facility will be installed on a lot of around 7,400 square meters.

SDK is committed to the principle of Responsible Care, promoting the use of alternative raw materials, conservation of energy, recycling of wastes, and reduction in the volume of discharged chemicals to reduce the burden on the global environment.

The new project for producing ammonia from waste plastic will enable the Company to almost halve the consumption of conventional feedstock such as naphtha, coke oven gas and petroleum off-gas.

[Reference]

Outline of SDK's Ammonia Business

The ammonia business at Kawasaki is classified as one of the base businesses in SDK's Chemicals Sector. Taking advantage of the location of Kawasaki, we are using coke oven gas and petroleum off-gas as raw material in addition to naphtha. Together with the establishment of an efficient distribution system, the diversification in raw materials has helped us to strengthen the competitiveness of our ammonia business.

SDK is the sole producer and supplier of ammonia in the eastern Japan, having the annual production capacity of 197,000 tons. Part of the production is used internally, and SDK sells approximately 90,000 tons a year of ammonia to outside in a variety of packages. SDK has the largest share of the domestic ammonia market.