News Releases 2015

Addressing the Expansion in Global Demand
Kuraray to Boost EVAL Production Capacity in Europe

February 6, 2015
Kuraray Co., Ltd.

Kuraray Co., Ltd. (Headquarters: Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo; President: Masaaki Ito; "Kuraray") today announces that it will boost the ethylene vinyl alcohol copolymer (EVOH resin; Kuraray trademark: EVAL) production capacity of EVAL Europe N.V., a wholly owned Kuraray subsidiary located in Antwerp, Belgium. Brief details are as follows.

Background of Capacity Enhancement

  • EVAL boasts superior gas barrier properties. Thanks to this feature, EVAL demand is steadily expanding, particularly for food packaging applications that offer better food preservation and for automotive plastic fuel tanks that effectively prevent hydrocarbon emissions.
  • Besides, EVAL applications have expanded to include stain proof wallpaper, under-floor heating and vacuum insulation panels for refrigerators.
  • Previously, the increase in EVAL demand has been centered primarily in industrialized nations, such as Japan and the United States as well as those in Europe. However, demand is now rising in emerging nations too. To secure a stable supply structure, Kuraray has concluded that it is necessary to boost its EVAL production capacity.

Overview of Capacity Enhancement

Location EVAL Europe N.V. (Antwerp, Belgium)
Capacity increase 11,000 tons/year
Schedule Expanded facilities to start operations at the end of 2016
Capital investment Approx. ¥8.0 billion
Kuraray Group’s EVAL Production Capacity (Unit: tons/year)
  Current Capacity Enhancement Enhanced Capacity Location
Kuraray America, Inc. 47,000   47,000 Texas, the United States
EVAL Europe N.V. 24,000 11,000 35,000 Antwerp, Belgium
Kuraray Co., Ltd. 10,000   10,000 Okayama, Japan
Total 81,000 11,000 92,000  

EVAL Europe, N.V.

Company name: EVAL Europe N.V.
President: Hiroyuki Shimo
Capital: €29,747,000 (100% investment by Kuraray Group.)
Employees: Approx. 120
Business: Manufacture and sales of EVOH resin in Europe
Location: Haven 1053, Nieuwe Weg 1 - Bus 10, B-2070 Zwijndrecht (Antwerpen), Belgium
EVAL is Kuraray’s trademark for EVOH resin.
  • Kuraray was the first to commercialize this high-performance resin, which it launched in 1972. EVAL boasts the highest level of gas barrier properties among all plastics. Kuraray commands an approximately 65% share of the global EVOH resin market.