Kuraray Plans to Increase EVAL Production Capacity in the United States and Europe
Kuraray Plans to Increase EVAL Production Capacity in the United States and Europe

Kuraray Plans to Increase EVAL Production Capacity in the United States and Europe

  • 24-Aug-2023 8:05 PM
  • Journalist: Francis Stokes

Kuraray Co., Ltd., headquartered in Chiyoda-ku and led by President Hitoshi Kawahara, has announced its strategic plan to elevate the production capacity of its highly sought-after ethylene vinyl alcohol copolymer (EVOH resin) known by its trademark, EVAL™. This capacity expansion initiative will be implemented across Kuraray's operational hubs in the United States and Europe.

In the coming years, a substantial augmentation of 5,000 tons per year will be introduced to the production capacity at both the U.S. and European bases. This increase is set to commence in 2024, followed by an additional 5,000 tons per year in 2026. The cumulative effect of this expansion will result in a total capacity enhancement of 10,000 tons per year, elevating the existing global production capacity from 103,000 tons per year to an impressive 113,000 tons per year.

Kuraray's strategic direction aligns with its medium-term management plan, PASSION 2026, which is designed to steer the company's growth trajectory. As part of this plan, a project team was formed in the previous year to deliberate on the establishment of a novel operational center in Asia.

With a keen eye on the evolving market dynamics, Kuraray anticipates an escalating need for food packaging solutions in the Asian region. The burgeoning demand for EVOH resin in this sector has presented a compelling opportunity for growth. In order to promptly cater to the burgeoning market and provide responsive solutions to clients, Kuraray envisions establishing a technical center at the upcoming Asian operational base.

EVAL™ has emerged as a preferred choice for food packaging applications, chiefly due to its exceptional gas barrier properties. These properties play a pivotal role in safeguarding the contents of the packaging, preventing their deterioration over time.

Kuraray anticipates that the demand for EVAL™ will witness further elevation in the coming years, driven by the global shift towards utilizing a single type of material in food packaging – a key facet of circular economy practices. Additionally, the increased emphasis on extending the shelf life of food products to curtail food wastage is likely to fuel the demand for EVAL™.

While the surge in EVAL™ demand was primarily observed in well-established economies such as Japan, the United States, and Europe, there is now a noticeable uptick in demand from emerging economies as well. In light of this evolving landscape and to ensure a resilient supply structure, Kuraray has determined that augmenting the production capacity of EVAL™ is not just strategic but imperative.

Kuraray's commitment to innovation, market responsiveness, and sustainable practices is evident in its comprehensive approach to capacity enhancement. By strategically investing in production expansion, Kuraray aims to serve the evolving needs of diverse markets while reinforcing its position as a leader in the industry. The decision to boost EVAL™ production capacity exemplifies Kuraray's dedication to delivering top-notch solutions that align with evolving market trends and the imperatives of a sustainable future.

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