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SDK-KYOWA JV Starts up New Ethyl Acetate Plant

SHOWA DENKO K.K.
KYOWA HAKKO KOGYO CO., LTD.
April 13, 2004

Japan Ethyl Acetate Co., Ltd., a joint venture established by Showa Denko K.K. (SDK) and Kyowa Hakko Kogyo Co., Ltd. (Kyowa Hakko) in August 2003, today held a ceremony at SDK’s Oita Petrochemical Complex to celebrate the smooth start-up of the JV’s new 100,000-ton-a-year ethyl acetate plant.

Demand for ethyl acetate has been increasing in Japan and other Asian countries for use as environment-friendly solvent, contributing to the improvement of printing and painting work conditions. Ethyl acetate is therefore expected to replace such aromatics as toluene and xylene.

Under the circumstances, SDK and Kyowa Hakko are strengthening their ethyl acetate businesses through a joint venture operation. Specifically, the JV has built its ethyl acetate plant by converting an acetic acid plant (acetaldehyde process) in Oita suspended in the summer of 2001. This ensures the production of ethyl acetate at a low capital-cost, highly competitive, world-scale plant.

At today’s ceremony attended by approximately 80 people, presidents of the two parent companies gave speeches. Mitsuo Ohashi, President and CEO of SDK, commented: “Ethyl acetate is an essential part of SDK’s petrochemical business. Since smooth operation of this new plant will pave the way for further expansion of the ethyl acetate business, SDK will fully support the new company through close cooperation with Kyowa Hakko. We look forward to continued support from the prefectural and municipal governments of Oita and residents of this community.”
Meanwhile, Yuzuru Matsuda, president and COO of Kyowa Hakko, said: “We established a new subsidiary, Kyowa Hakko Chemical Co., Ltd., on April 1, 2004. In its solvent business, ethyl acetate is a core product. This new, competitive, large-scale plant will greatly contribute to the future growth of the business. The plant embodies the combination of advanced technologies of the two parent companies. Continued support from the authorities and the community people will be highly appreciated.”

Japan Ethyl Acetate's new plant

At a party in Oita on April 12
Left to Mr. Nishimoto, president of Japan Ethyl Acetate,
Mr. Ohashi, president of SDK,
Mr. Matsuda, president of Kyowa Hakko and
Mr. Hari, president of Kyowa Hakko Chemical

[Reference]

Outline of Japan Ethyl Acetate Co., Ltd.

Head office: 2, Nakanosu, Oita City, Oita Prefecture (within the premises of SDK’s Oita Petrochemical Complex)
Establishment: August 20, 2003
Start of commercial operation: April 1, 2004
Capital: ¥100 million
Shareholders: SDK 55%; Kyowa Hakko Chemical Co., Ltd. 45% (Shares transferred from the parent company effective April 1, 2004)
President: Hiroshi Nishimoto
Board members: Three directors from SDK; two directors from Kyowa Hakko
Scope of business: Production of ethyl acetate
Plant capacity: 100,000 tons a year