Basic & Green Materials
Accomplishing business restructuring as well as leading the Mitsui Chemicals Group’s efforts to
bring about a circular economy revolution with the aim of reducing environmental impacts and
realizing a decarbonized society
Challenges and needs of society
- Provision of products with even greater added value
- Increased environmental awareness
- Reduction of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions through energy efficiency, the use of renewable energy and bio-based raw materials, etc.
- Reduction/reuse of plastic waste
- Further reducing volatility
- Strengthening and expanding high-performance products
- Reducing GHG emissions
- Bolstering efforts toward a circular economy
Market analysis and strategies
Risks and opportunities
- Effect of Russian invasion of Ukraine on global and Japanese economy
- Deceleration in global economy due to COVID-19 pandemic
- Acceleration in depreciation of Japanese yen due to rise in U.S. interest rates
- Depreciation of emerging countries' currencies due to rising U.S. interest rates and resulting impact on their economies
- Rise in crude oil (naphtha) prices
- Growing need for eco-friendly solutions (bio-based raw materials)
- Expansion of high-value-added product offering (e.g., packaging materials, insulation materials, etc.)
- Evolution in digital transformation (DX) technology
- Globally competitive naphtha crackers
- Metallocene and other polyolefin catalytic technologies
- High-performance polyols and high-performance MDIs to differentiate polyurethane products
- Development of bio-polyols, related manufacturing technology
Reducing volatility by speeding up restructuring of phenols, PTA, and polyurethane businesses
- Product chain optimization at various bases
- Going more asset-light by way of tie-ups, etc.
Stabilizing earnings by bolstering downstream businesses, such as by expanding our operations for high-performance and niche products
- High-performance PP, high-performance MDI
- Honshu Chemical Industry Co., Ltd. (health care, ICT materials)
- HQ, catalyst licensing
Bolstering eco-friendly efforts by expanding green chemical operations
- Bio-based raw materials
- Bio-based derivatives (bio-polyolefins, bio-polyols)
- Recycle (mechanical & chemical recycling)
Ethylene, Propylene, High density polyethylene,
Metallocene linear low density polyethylene (EVOLUE™),
Linear low density polyethylene, Polypropylene, Olefin polymerization catalysts
Phenol, Bisphenol A, Acetone, Isopropyl alcohol, Methyl isobutyl ketone,
Purified terephthalic acid, PET resin, Ethylene oxide, Ethylene glycol, Hydroquinone,
Meta/Para-cresol, Ammonia, Urea, Melamine
Polyurethane raw materials
TDI (COSMONATE™), MDI (COSMONATE™),
PPG (ACTCOL™, ECONYKOL™ ）
Pick UpSpeeding up commercialization for green chemicals
In April 2022, our business segment established the Green Sustainable Chemicals Division to lead the Group-wide shift to circular economy-based business models. We will accelerate the promotion of the green chemicals business by sharing information on the green chemicals business in each business segment and collaborating with related departments throughout the Group. We aim to leverage the business and equipment base that our business segment possesses, ranging from crackers to diverse chemicals and various polymers, to develop businesses in a wide range of fields, including biobased raw materials, plastics recycling, and CCUs.
As part of our efforts regarding bio-based raw materials, we introduced bio-based hydrocarbons for the first time in Japan in 2021 through a partnership with Neste Corporation of Finland. This received a lot of interest from customers in Japan and overseas, and we plan to introduce the third lot in October 2022. In the future, we intend to acquire ISCC certification* at other works as well to expand our bio-based products, and are also considering diversification of bio-based raw materials and alliances with other companies.
In addition, we are promoting fuel conversion of crackers as part of the efforts to become carbon neutral. By converting conventional methane to clean ammonia, we aim to reduce CO2 emissions during combustion. We plan to develop ammonia burners and test furnaces by 2026, and to develop and start operation of demonstration crackers in 2030.
With regard to mechanical recycling, in which waste plastic is reused as plastic products, through participation in J-CEP (Japan Circular Economy Partnership) and collaboration with local governments and brand owners, we have already started demonstration tests on products owned by other business segments such as performance films and sheets in the packaging field. In addition, regarding chemical recycling, which enables the recycling of waste plastics into chemical raw materials, we are actively collaborating with other companies with superior technologies, such as BASF Japan Ltd. and Microwave Chemical Co., Ltd. and aiming to speed up the social implementation.
* International Sustainability & Carbon Certification
TopicsToward increasing procurement of bio-based raw materials
In June 2022, the Mitsui Chemicals Group invested in Apeiron AgroCommodities Pte. Ltd., one of the largest collectors and sellers of used cooking oil, a raw material for bio-based hydrocarbons, in the Southeast Asia and China region. While there is an accelerating global movement to switch from petroleum-derived to bio-based raw materials and fuels in order to realize a carbon neutral society, competition for procurement of bio-based raw materials is expected to intensify in the future, as supply is limited in relation to growth in demand. Although there are various types of major bio-based raw materials, used cooking oil is the type that contributes the most to avoided GHG emissions. It also does not conflict with food issues as it is inedible. We will continue to contribute to the realization of a carbon neutral society through stable procurement of bio-based raw materials.