It’s been almost a year since our MMA business unit at Mitsubishi Chemical became an independent entity. To serve our customers and partners better, we aim to benefit from connecting our transnational operations, including operation hubs, growing markets, raw material procurement, logistics, technical service and sales.
The core companies in our MMA business, including the former Lucite International (but not including joint ventures), have also changed their names to a unified brand – Mitsubishi Chemical Methacrylates. And, after a one-year delay due to COVID-19, we relocated our headquarter functions to Singapore at the same time. I believe this strengthens our management foundation by speeding up decision-making and promoting diverse human resources. The key concept is “one team” across all business functions.
Our MCM mission everywhere in the world is that as one global team, we will work with our stakeholders globally and use the power of methacrylates to create a brighter world for future generations while helping to protect and sustain planet earth.
Today, I’m also happy to share with you some recent developments on the MMA/PMMA projects we’re currently running which are helping towards bringing our mission to life.
New Alpha MMA plant in the United States
We completed basic engineering designs remotely during the global COVID-19 outbreak and entered the detailed design phase which will be completed within this fiscal year. The final investment decision will be scheduled in Q1 FY2022, and commercial operation will start in Q4 FY2025 if approved. This MMA plant is the world’s largest with a capacity of 350,000 tons per year.
In addition, our Alpha MMA plants introduce new technologies in each phase. Here, in what will be our third and largest Alpha MMA plant, we will be able to adopt a more energy-efficient process than the conventional Alpha process by upgrading heat integration technology. CO2 emissions will be also reduced by 25% compared to the ACH method.
Creating a circular economy for MMA/PMMA
This project is being pursued in Europe and Japan in a manner that matches the requirements of each region.
In Europe, where environmental awareness is extremely high and requires a sense of speed and scale, we are in the final stages of review before constructing a plant which will be able to recycle commercial quantities of PMMA (acrylic) per year using a technology called molecular recycling developed by our partner, Agilyx Corporation.
We want to build an ‘open’ business model which allows us to collect end-of-life acrylic, recycle it back into MMA, its base molecule, and distribute recycled MMA wherever there is demand.
In Japan, using new technologies, we are building a ‘closed’ business model structure where we will collect end-of-life acrylic from specific large-scale users and sell recycled acrylic back to those same users. As we’ve already publicly announced, we’ve launched a 3,000 tons per year pilot plant in Japan with a view to future introduction of new technologies – both molecular recycling and microwave recycling.
In any event, as the world’s leader in methacrylates, we will be pioneering in achieving a circular economy with confidence and responsibility. We always hope to be the first choice for our customers and suppliers everywhere. To help keep you up to date with our progress, our new website and social media pages are ready for you to follow. I hope to hear your thoughts, comments and ideas through these channels, and I would very much value your active participation.
Hitoshi Sasaki, Chief Executive Officer
Where can you find us?
With production sites and sales offices in 32 locations worldwide, we supply methacrylates reliably wherever it’s needed – currently to fantastic customers over 100 countries. Here’s an overview of where you’ll find us.
Meet our leaders
Here, you can put names to faces or even see our global leadership team for the first time.
*Ben Harris will assume the Deputy CTO position in January 2022
Where can you follow us?
You’re reading this at an exciting moment in our history as we begin life as Mitsubishi Chemical Methacrylates and lead the industry into a circular, sustainable future.
As well as what we write for you here in FreeFlow, you can follow our website and social media channels to be the first to know about the progress we’re making.