INDONESIA: Asahi Glass to expand chlor-alkali capacity

In March 2013, ASC expanded its production capacity for caustic soda to nearly 500,000 t/y. Now, ASC is going to further enhance its production facilities for caustic soda and vinyl chloride, aiming to start operation of the extended facilities by the end of 2015. The expansion project will add 200,000 t/y of caustic soda capacity; 400,000 t/y of vinyl chloride monomer (VCM) and 250,000 t/y of PVC. After the expansion, output of caustic soda at ASC will increase 40% to about 700,000 t/y, and production of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) will nearly double to about 550,000 t/y.

ASC was established in 1986 and Asahi Glass holds a 52.5% stake in the company; Mitsubishi Corp. owns an 11.5% stake; and local partners Rodamas and Ableman Finance each owns an 18% stake.

Demand for the chlor-alkali products is expected to rise by about 5% annually in the Southeast Asia region, where economies are projected to continue developing. In 2020, the market scale for the products in the region is forecast to expand by about 50% from the present level. In particular, the caustic soda and vinyl chloride markets in Indonesia, both already the largest markets in the region, are expected to grow much faster than the average growth rates in the region.

ASC is one of the largest manufacturers of chlor-alkali products in Southeast Asia, conducting integrated production from caustic soda and chlorine to vinyl chloride. ASC currently accounts for more than 50% of Indonesia's caustic soda market and about 50% of the country's PVC market. By significantly expanding its production capacity, ASC is responding to robust demand for the products in the Southeast Asia region, centered on Indonesia.

Source: Asahi Glass Co. website, Tokyo, 6 Aug 2013
(Syed Rashid Ali, Karachi, Pakistan)