Major Business Activities
The supply structure of the global chemicals industry stands at a turning point with the shale gas revolution in North America, increase in production capacity in China and the shift to value-added industries in the Middle East. Market needs continue to change as well due to expansion in demand for consumer goods accompanied by the growth of middle-income population in Asian and other emerging countries as well as development of new products and technologies to address environmental issues.
In this context, our Division will strive to expand global trade by identifying changes in the operating environment in a timely manner by leveraging our diverse value chain ranging from upstream to downstream sectors, utilizing our valuable marketing function, and our business network of over 5,000 companies across the world. In addition, we will place emphasis on establishing the projects we have executed in the previous Medium-Term Plan as our new earning foundations, while executing investments to further expand the value chain for our five major business pillars as well as creating a new sixth pillar for our division based on global industrial trends, such as “environment”, “mobility” and “advanced composite materials”.
Our action plans for our five business pillars are: (1) In the methanol business, we will continue stable operations of the existing PT. Kaltim Methanol Industri and work on developing new gas chemical business, including methanol derivative products. (2) In the plastic resins business, we will strive to expand transaction volumes by focusing on the keywords – “environment”, “strengthening customer/partner relations” and “innovation,” as well as expanding our major automotive-related and packaging materials businesses. (3) In the petroleum resin and C5 business, we will broaden our supplies to meet the growing demand in Asia, and utilize the experiences we have gathered through the supply chain business in the US to build an all-in-one-package solution-type business model that can cater to a wide range of applications and services. (4) In the industrial salt business, we strive to further expand and solidify our business which has now reached the scale of four million tons/year through our continuous expansion investments in India. (5) In the rare earths business, we will work toward reducing procurement risks and stabilizing supply by increasing procurement from Australia.
Additionally, in 2017, we invested in a European chemical marketing and distribution company “solvadis,” and are currently working to improve corporate value and create synergy between our division and solvadis. We hope to employ the PMI knowledge we have gained through this investment, and connect it to investing in a second chemical distribution company.
Under the Division policy of making strong businesses even stronger, we will enhance our existing business, at the same time creating a solid new business pillar by extending and strengthening environment-conscious business areas such as carbon fiber (which is gaining popularity for making aircraft and automobiles lighter), high-strength glass fiber and other composite materials, lithium-ion battery materials and environmentally friendly plant-based resin business.
The Chemicals Division will aim to further grow as a division dealing with materials that both support our business industry and our everyday life.
Business models supporting value creation
Examples of Activities for Sustained Growth
Green Polyethylene Business
Focusing on sale and spread of green polyethylene to promote a shift away from dependence on petroleum
The world is calling for the chemicals industry to shift towards products that are conscious of natural ecosystems and local environmental issues, to help preserve the environment and prevent pollution. Green polyethylene is a concrete example of one such product. It is a plant-based plastic made from sugarcane and is gaining attention in light of the recent surge in crude oil prices and increased emphasis on corporate social responsibility as well as among other perspectives.
As sugarcane absorbs carbon dioxide during growth, green polyethylene is considered to emit zero net carbon dioxide when burned as a waste material. This means that carbon dioxide emissions, when compared to existing petroleum-based polyethylene, can be up to 70% lower—even when emissions from the manufacturing and transportation process are taken into account.
In 2012, Sojitz Pla-Net acquired sales right from a Brazilian petrochemical company “Braskem S.A”—a sole manufacturer of green polyethylene in the world, to sell their products in Asia and Oceania. This has enabled us to strengthen a structure that supports one-stop “greening” solutions for customer products, from sale of raw materials for resins to final end products. We are striving to spread environment-friendly packaging materials made from green polyethylene by collaborating with major convenience stores, super markets and other retailers, along with developing products and supporting discovery of new markets for small and medium businesses.
Lithium-ion Battery Business
Contributing to reduction of environmental impact of the automotive-related industry through value-added sustainability
The eco-vehicles market is growing rapidly because of strict regulations on carbon dioxide emissions mainly being implemented in Europe and China. This has led to a rise in demand for lithium-ion batteries for automobiles, which is expected to grow by roughly five times in the coming ten years as practical application of batteries using materials other than lithium continues to be difficult.
Sojitz boasts a track record of over 40 years in trading lithium resources as well as related components and products. It possesses a wealth of knowledge from trading with a broad range of companies, including materials manufacturers, battery materials manufacturers and battery manufacturers. We also hold a premier lineup among trading companies and are contributing to creating a supply chain for customers in the form of a “department store for lithium-ion batteries,” where we are able to supply materials and battery materials all in one place. In MTP 2020, we will strive to develop this business as an earnings foundation for our Division by conducting businesses focused on the view point of our customers.
- Automotive Division
- Aerospace & Transportation Project Division
- Machinery & Medical Infrastructure Division
- Energy & Social Infrastructure Division
- Metals & Mineral Resources Division
- Chemicals Division
- Foods & Agriculture Business Division
- Retail & Lifestyle Business Division
- Industrial Infrastructure & Urban Development Division