Sojitz Acquires Asian Sales Rights for Plant-Based Resin from Braskem of Brazil
CO2 Emission is 70% Lower than Oil-Based Resins
Sojitz Accelerates Green Chemical Business Initiatives
July 5, 2012
Sojitz Planet Corporation
Sojitz Planet Corporation, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Sojitz Corporation that handles synthetic resins, acquired sales rights to “green polyethylene” bio-plastic resin made from sugar cane by Braskem S.A., South America’s largest chemical manufacturer. Sojitz Planet will sell the products in Japan and the Asia-Pacific region and aims to handle 20,000 tons annually in three years.
Sojitz Planet has extensive experience handling oil-based resins, and will use the sales routes developed through the construction of a supply chain for resin processed products and its expertise to market the green polyethylene products.
[Green Polyethylene Manufacturing Process]
Green polyethylene is a plant-based resin that can be used primarily for plastic bags and plastic containers. Sugar cane absorbs carbon dioxide while it is growing, and as a result, there are no net carbon dioxide emissions when it is burned as a waste material (i.e., it is carbon neutral). As a result, compared to oil-based polyethylene, the carbon dioxide emissions are 70% lower even when emissions from manufacturing and transportation are taken into account, and this product can contribute to reducing dependence on oil and preventing global warming.
The global market for bio-plastics was 640,000 tons in 2010 (production volume) and is expected to increase to 3.7 million tons in 2016 (according to BCC Research, an American research firm).
Sojitz and Braskem have experience with butadiene, a synthetic rubber material used for automobile tires and other products, and bio-ETBE, a bio-mass fuel used as an additive to high-octane gasoline. Sojitz has invested with Odebrecht S.A., Braskem’s parent company and a leading Brazilian conglomerate, in ETH Bioenergia S.A. (ETH), one of the world’s largest makers of sugar cane based bio-ethylene. A portion of the green polyethylene produced by Braskem use bio-ethylene from ETH as a raw material, building a bio-ethylene chain.
In anticipation of growing demand, Sojitz is focusing on the green chemical business for plant-based chemicals and resin materials. Sojitz is working with Myriant Corporation of the United States to develop business for bio-succinic acid, a raw material used in biodegradable resins that are used to manufacture agricultural films and biodegradable plastic shopping bags and has acquired exclusive sales rights in Japan, China, South Korea, and Taiwan. Going forward, Sojitz will develop chemical products and resins that do not rely on oil-based products through its green chemical business to contribute to preventing global warming and the creation of a sustainable society.
Global Market for Bio-Plastics