Shin-Etsu Chemical Ramps up Silicone Capacity

Shin-Etsu Chemical Co., Ltd. bankrolls over 80 billion yen (US$695 million) in facility investments for its silicones for advanced functional products. The fresh investments aim to further expand and strengthen the silicone business, as one its main businesses.

Specifically, the new facility investments will increase the production capacity of highly diversified types of silicone fluids, resins and rubber end products.

Shin-Etsu bankrolls US$695 million capacity expansion for silicone products.

Second Round of Investments

In Sept. 2018, the company announced a facility investment plan of 110 billion yen (US$955 million) for its silicone business. With this investment, Shin-Etsu Chemical increased its production capacity of silicone monomer, the intermediate material of silicone, at its two bases in Japan and Thailand by about 1.5 times compared to the previous level. The company has so far implemented appropriate investments in this downstream area of its silicones business.

However, there is very strong demand from customers mainly for advanced functional products. Thus, Shin-Etsu planned to further increase production capacity in this business field as a result of this new facility investment.

The company has already stated that it will strengthen the development of new silicone products. Also, it has put emphasis in product structure on so-called specialty products. This new facility investment plan is aimed at strengthening this business strategy, with an investment expected to exceed 80 billion yen. By these means, the company will meet the vigorously increasing demand for these products. At the same time, it will be able to strengthen the company’s stable supply system.

Increase Capacity of Highly Diversified Silicones

The new facility investments will increase production capacity of highly diversified types of silicone fluids, resins and rubber end products. In addition, it will pursue endeavors toward contributing to the reduction of environmental hazards. It will also develop advanced technologies, such as by introducing equipment for molding silicone rubber that does not require post cure and by introducing trial production equipment for micro LED-related materials, which will improve productivity and save energy.

The new series of facility investments will be implemented centering around its plants in Japan, starting with the  main plant, the Gunma Complex in Gunma Prefecture. It also includes the Takefu Plant in Fukui Prefecture and Naoetsu Plant in Niigata Prefecture. The company aims to sequentially complete these capacity-expansion projects and begin operations by 2025.