Location: Tokyo, Japan
Sales: $136 Million
Description: Key Personnel
Motoyuki Ezaki, general manager, life and energy materials division
Yokkaichi and Iwakuni
Spunbonded, needlepunched, meltblown, thermal bonded
Mitsui Chemicals produces 25,000 tons of polypropylene-based spunbonded nonwovens per year. These are made on four lines with capacities ranging from 3000 to 12,500 tons. Additionally, Mitsui operates an SMS line that can make 9000 tons of nonwovens per year.
In Thailand, Mitsui operates MHM, a wholly-owned subsidiary, which has been making 14,000 tons of SMMS nonwovens since 2003 with another 16,000-ton line coming onstream currently. MHM ships its nonwovens to southeast Asia and Japan where they are used in diapers.
In fact, more than half of Mitsui’s output targets the diaper market, something that company has been trying to change in recent years as margins in this market have become more challenging. One result of these efforts is a new type of meltblown nonwovens—sold under the Syntex brand name—which has an extremely low diameter fiber. This product is being sold as a raw material for filters.
Although ordinary meltblown nonwovens are used in filters, Syntex nano has two types of nonwovens—the 10 type and the 6 type. As for the characteristic of the 10 type, it weighs 18 gsm and is 0.27mm thick. The porosity is about that same as ordinary meltblown nonwovens but the average pore size is significantly smaller, The result is high dust collection efficiency leading to a high performance filter. Mitsui Chemicals is developing a new market for raw materials such as air filters, liquid filters and battery separators in North America.