News Releases 2006

Kuraray Expands Capacity at European PVB Film Manufacturing Facility

April 26, 2006
Kuraray Co. Ltd.

Kuraray Co., Ltd., in response to growing Europe-centered demand for the PVB (polyvinyl butyral) film marketed under the brand name TROSIFOL, has decided to expand the PVB film-production capabilities of its European subsidiary, Kuraray Specialities Europe GmbH ("KSE," based in Frankfurt, Germany) by 8,000 tons per annum, to a total of 34,000 tons. Plant expansion is planned for completion in June 2007.

Outline of plant expansion

Production capacity Currently 26,000 tons per year, rising to 34,000 tons per year after expansion (30% increase)
Location Troisdorf, Germany
Capital 10 million euros
Completion date June 2007

Kuraray acquired the PVB film business from HT Troplast AG of Germany in December 2004, establishing an integrated manufacturing system at KSE for both poval, a polyvinyl alcohol resin (PVA), and PVB resin and film; thereby strengthening the Company's downstream development of vinyl acetate and poval-related businesses.

PVB film is derived from PVA resin, which the Company became the first in the world to manufacture in 1958. PVB film's superior adhesive properties, excellent transparent qualities and high pliability give rise to special features. When used as an interlayer film in laminated safety glass, PVB film makes glass shatter-resistant and is designed to prevent flying fragments in the event of a heavy impact. It is widely used for windows in the construction industry and in automotive windshields.

Kuraray Group has a 14% share in the world market for the development, manufacture and sale of interlayer films for laminated safety glass and is a leading company in construction industry applications, particularly in Europe.

Kuraray is focused on bolstering and expanding its PVB film business, engaged in creating new markets and developing new products that exactly meet the needs of the market, as well as strengthening the development system that maintains close links with customers.

KSE overview

(1)Company name Kuraray Specialities Europe GmbH
(2)Capital 20 million euros (100% funded by Kuraray Europe GmbH*)
(3)President Dr. Gerd Lepper
(4)Headquarters Frankfurt, Germany
(5)Business Development, manufacture and sale of PVA resin, PVB resin and film
(6)Production capacity PVA: 70,000 tons per year
PVB: 20,000 tons per year
PVB film: 26,000 tons per year
(7)Number of employees Approximately 500
  • * Kuraray Europe GmbH is a wholly owned subsidiary of Kuraray Co., Ltd. and its European headquarters company.

PVB film business

(1)Location Troisdorf, Germany
(2)Network Manufacturing subsidiaries in Germany and Russia, marketing subsidiaries in the United States, Malaysia, India and Ukraine