On 29 August 2022, Ube Corporation announced that it has started the third expansion of its production facilities for polycarbonate diol (PCD) at one of its local subsidiaries in Thailand, Ube Fine Chemicals (Asia) Co., Ltd., in order to meet rising demand in the Asian region. According to the company, the facility will start operations in August 2023, and the production capacity is planned to be increased from 8,000 tonnes to 12,000 tonnes per year.

PCD is one of Ube’s core products that is mainly used as a polyol component in the principal raw material in high-grade polyurethane. It has been adopted for a lot of uses including automotive, furniture, coatings for building materials, synthetic leather, adhesives, and other products. Ube said PCD-based polyurethane offers superior performance in resistance to heat, hydrolysis, oil, and weather (UV). It also excels in many other ways, including when used as a high-grade material with a smooth texture. For these reasons, demand for PCD-based polyurethane has been growing rapidly, said the company.

There is also growing demand for PCD as a raw material for environmentally responsible water-based paints that use polyurethane dispersion (PUD) technology. These paints contain no solvents and fill a need in an environment of increasingly strict regulation of volatile organic compounds (VOCs).

In order to respond to further increases in demand in the future, especially in Asian region including China, Ube decided to expand its production in Thailand. In its medium-term management plan “Ube Vision 2030 Transformation—1st Stage” announced in May 2022, Ube aims to become a corporate group centred on speciality chemicals that contributes to the global environment, human health, and enriched future society. In order to achieve this vision, the company said it will efficiently invest its management resources with a dual focus on contributing to global environmental issues and growing its speciality chemicals business. With this in mind, Ube said it will accelerate the international expansion of high-performance coating business including PCD and PUD and contribute to the development of a sustainable world.

www.ube.co.jp

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