Shin-Etsu Chemical expands silicone business

By Natasha Spencer

- Last updated on GMT

Shin-Etsu Chemical expands silicone business
Shin-Etsu Chemical plans to build a new plant in Japan and expand its technical centre in Japan to grow its silicones business.

The leading Japanese chemical manufacturer will create a new plant and develop its technical centre that performs technical services for silicone rubber molding and processing, both located in Japan.

Silicone, a functional material, is used in a wide range of application fields in cosmetics and toiletries including skin care, personal care and hair care products.

In recent years, Shin-Etsu Chemical has been growing its silicones business by developing and supplying products to meet customer demands.

Growth and investments

In Japan, Shin-Etsu has achieved considerable growth in the silicones business and now, as a result, the company holds over 50% market share of the industry.

The total of new investments in Shin-Etsu’s silicones business since 2015 is approximately ¥50 bn (€433 mn).

Globally, Shin-Etsu has been expanding its silicones business by establishing production bases in Asia, the US and Europe.

Build deadlines

Shin-Etsu Chemical will construct a functional silane plant that can effectively encourage small-quantity production. The plant, which is expected to complete construction by March 2018 within the site of the company's Naoetsu Plant in Niigata Prefecture, has an investment amount of ¥2.3 bn (€20 mn).

In addition, Shin-Etsu Chemical will expand its silicone rubber molding and processing technical centre, which first opened in 2001, in Higashimatsuyama City, Saitama Prefecture, Japan. The new technical centre is scheduled for completion in July 2017.

Liquid Injection Molding System (LIMS) is a popular and increasing method selected for molding processes that use silicone rubber as its material. Its popularity and use are also expected to grow in the future.

Developments to date

Since 2015, Shin-Etsu Chemical has expanded production capacity in its silicones business by investing a combined ¥40 bn (€346 mn) in Thailand and Japan. Shin-Etsu also invested ¥5 bn (€43 mn) to obtain industrial land in Thailand.

Earlier this year, the company’s new research building, located at Shin-Etsu’s Silicone-Electronics Materials Research Centre in Gunma Prefecture, Honshu Island, Japan, started operations. In addition, the company built a new technical centre in New Jersey, US.

Currently, in the world silicones market, European and US companies rank from first to third in world market share. However, with Shin-Etsu Chemical’s developments, the Japan-based manufacturer hopes to bridge this gap and grow Asia-Pacific’s market share.

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