Ube Industries Licenses DMC Technology and Agrees to Establish Joint Venture for High-Purity DMC

March 16, 2016

TOKYO, March 16, 2016 _ Ube Industries, Ltd. today announced that it had reached agreement with CNSG Anhui Hong Sifang Co., Ltd. of China to license its technology for manufacturing dimethyl carbonate (DMC). CNSG Anhui Hong Sifang will construct manufacturing facilities for DMC in Hefei, Anhui Province, China with an annual production capacity of 100,000 tonnes. It is the first time for Ube Industries to license its technology for DMC.

Additionally, Ube Industries and CNSG Anhui Hong Sifang will establish a joint venture for the manufacturing and marketing of high-purity DMC with an annual production capacity of 10,000 tonnes. The joint venture will receive a share of DMC from CNSG Anhui Hong Sifang and produce high-purity DMC. The joint venture will market its product to manufacturers of electrolytes for lithium-ion batteries (LIBs) in the Chinese market. Some product will be supplied to AET Electrolyte Technologies (Zhangjiagang) Co., Ltd., a subsidiary of the Ube Industries Group with electrolyte manufacturing operations in Zhangjiagang, Jiangsu Province, China.

High-purity DMC is one of the main solvents used in electrolytes for LIBs, and demand for high-purity DMC is growing significantly. By establishing a joint venture for the production of high-purity DMC in China, which is actively encouraging the adoption of electric vehicles (EVs), Ube Industries will establish a framework for supplying high-purity DMC with a competitive advantage in terms of both quality and cost in an important market.

Ube Industries' Licensing Strategy for C1 Chemicals

Ube Industries is actively licensing its technology to manufacture monoethylene glycol (MEG) produced from dimethyl oxalate (DMO), which is made from synthesis gas (a mixture of carbon monoxide and hydrogen) derived from coal. In December 2012, Xinjiang Tianye (Group) Co., Ltd. began operating the first production facilities under a technology license from Ube Industries, in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region of China. Since then, the quality and operating record of the technology have been widely recognized in China, and Ube Industries has to date established nine separate licensing agreements with Chinese companies. The licensing agreements represent a total production capacity of 3.9 million tonnes of DMO and 1.8 million tonnes of MEG.

The DMC and DMO manufacturing technology both rely on Ube Industries' proprietary nitrite technology, which employs an oxidation reaction using a palladium catalyst. The technology enables DMC and DMO to be manufactured from the same raw materials, depending on the catalyst used in the manufacturing process. CNSG Anhui Hong Sifang is also licensing technology from Ube Industries to build DMO and MEG facilities with a production capacity of 600,000 tonnes and 300,000 tonnes respectively, which are being constructed in the same area as the DMC facilities.

A number of large-scale coal chemical projects are being advanced in China, centering on coal mining regions. Ube Industries' nitrite technology relies on carbon monoxide and methanol derived from coal as the main raw materials, and in China is recognized as a technology of leading importance for manufacturing downstream chemicals derived from coal, alongside methanol to olefin (MTO) technology.

Ube Industries will continue to actively license its technology to the coal-derived chemicals industry, while expanding its sights to encompass natural gas-derived chemical projects that promise to be highly cost competitive. These efforts form part of a global strategy by Ube Industries to accelerate the licensing of the technology.

Data for Joint Venture

Company Name CNSG Anhui Hong Sifang & UBE New Material Technology Co., Ltd.
Address Hefei, Anhui Province, China (within the CNSG Anhui Hong Sifang ground)
Capital Stock 24.5 million yuan
Shareholders CNSG Anhui Hong Sifang Co., Ltd. (50%), Ube Industries, Ltd. (40%), Others (10%)
President Bin Luo
To Be Established End of 2016
Business Description Manufacturing and marketing of high-purity DMC

DMO-MEG Process

DMO-MEG Process

DMC Process

DMC Process


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