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Mitsubishi Chemical Halts VAM Production in Japan for Maintenance
Mitsubishi Chemical Halts VAM Production in Japan for Maintenance

Mitsubishi Chemical Halts VAM Production in Japan for Maintenance

  • 21-Feb-2024 8:34 PM
  • Journalist: Timothy Greene

Mitsubishi Chemical, a prominent Japanese petrochemical company and subsidiary of Mitsubishi Chemical Holdings Corporation, made a strategic decision to halt the production of vinyl acetate monomer (VAM) at its Mizushima facility in Okayama Prefecture, Japan, on February 17. The temporary cessation of production at this plant, boasting a capacity of 180 thousand tons of VAM annually, is necessitated by the initiation of repair work. The repair activities are anticipated to continue until March 25 of the current year.

This development follows a prior instance where Mitsubishi Chemical undertook preventive measures at another plant dedicated to VAM production located in the city of Okayama, Japan. The aforementioned plant, with a similar capacity of 180 thousand tons of VAM per year, had its production temporarily suspended for preventive measures, which concluded on April 19, 2022. Subsequently, the facility resumed its regular production operations. However, the need for repair work arose at the end of February 2022, initiating the temporary shutdown for maintenance.

Vinyl acetate monomer (VAM) serves as a critical raw material in the manufacturing process of ethylene vinyl acetate (EVA). Mitsubishi Chemical, a powerhouse in the Japanese chemical industry, stands as an integrated chemical company with a rich history. It was established on October 1, 1990, as a result of the merger between Mitsubishi Kasei and Mitsubishi Petrochemical Co., consolidating their strengths and expertise.

The decision to temporarily cease VAM production at the Mizushima facility underscores the company's commitment to maintaining and optimizing its production infrastructure. The strategic pause allows Mitsubishi Chemical to conduct necessary repair work, ensuring the facility operates at peak efficiency and meets stringent quality standards. This proactive approach aligns with the company's dedication to delivering high-quality products to the market.

It's noteworthy that VAM, as a key component in the production of ethylene vinyl acetate (EVA), plays a crucial role in various industries. EVA, a copolymer of ethylene and vinyl acetate, finds applications in diverse sectors, including packaging, footwear, automotive, and construction. Mitsubishi Chemical's commitment to sustaining a robust supply chain for VAM is vital for supporting downstream industries reliant on EVA as a versatile material.

The temporary shutdown for repairs not only addresses immediate maintenance needs but also reflects Mitsubishi Chemical's long-term vision for operational excellence. By investing in the upkeep of its production facilities, the company aims to ensure the reliability and resilience of its operations, contributing to the overall stability of the petrochemical industry.

Mitsubishi Chemical's decision to suspend VAM production in Mizushima for repair work underscores its proactive approach to facility maintenance and commitment to delivering high-quality products. The temporary pause aligns with the company's dedication to operational excellence and contributes to the sustained supply of critical raw materials for industries relying on ethylene vinyl acetate. Mitsubishi Chemical's legacy of innovation and continuous improvement remains evident in its strategic decisions aimed at fortifying its position in the dynamic petrochemical landscape.

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