UBE Corporation to Begin Basic Design for DMC and EMC Plant Construction in the U.S.

July 6, 2022

UBE Corporation (President: Masato Izumihara) has been studying the feasibility of commercializing Dimethyl Carbonate (DMC) and Ethyl Methyl Carbonate (EMC) in the United States. The state of Louisiana has been selected as a candidate for the construction site, and the company will begin basic design (Front-End Engineering Design: FEED). The production capacity is planned to be 100,000 metric tons per year of DMC and 40,000 metric tons per year of EMC derived from DMC. A final investment decision is to be made in the first half of fiscal 2023, and operations to commence in the second half of the fiscal 2025.

DMC and EMC are the principal component of the solvent for electrolyte in lithium-ion batteries and DMC is also used as a developing solution in the semiconductor manufacturing process. Demand for DMC is anticipated to grow further with the spread of electric vehicles and the progress of digitalization. There are no DMC nor EMC production facilities in the U.S., which is dependent on imports from UBE’s Ube Chemical Factory or Chinese manufacturers. By constructing a DMC and EMC plant in the U.S., UBE plans to achieve a stable supply to its customers and expand the scale of the company’s business in the future through downstream expansion into environmentally friendly products such as polycarbonate diol (PCD) and water-based polyurethane dispersion (PUD) as a C1 chemicals chain.

DMC is produced from carbon monoxide (CO) using UBE’s proprietary gas phase nitrite process, which is characterized by higher quality and fewer byproducts than other companies’ ethylene-based production methods. At the U.S. plant, the company will use natural gas as a starting material to limit CO2 emissions and supply cost-competitive product, thereby establishing a firm position as a leading company in this field.

In its medium-term management plan for fiscal 2022–2024 and long-term vision for 2030, UBE has set a goal of promoting local production for local consumption by establishing C1 chemicals chain production bases in the U.S., China, and Europe. On July 1, 2022, the company established the C1 Chemicals Project as an organization under the direct control of the president to implement the plan. The project will study and promote the establishment of a new DMC and EMC plant in the U.S., a joint venture and licensing business in China, and DMC production from green carbon monoxide in Europe.

UBE aims to become a corporate group centered on specialty chemicals that contributes to the global environment, human health, and enriched future society. In order to achieve this vision, the company will efficiently invest its management resources with a dual focus on contributing to global environmental issues and growing its specialty chemicals business. With this in mind, the company will accelerate the international expansion of the C1 chemicals chain and contribute to the development of a sustainable world.


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