Idemitsu Kosan Co., Ltd., KUMHO Petrochemical Co., Ltd., and Sumitomo Corporation have signed Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to establish a long-term collaboration for the development and further growth of the sustainable polymers and chemicals market in Asia.
In this project, Idemitsu, the largest SM manufacturer in Japan, will produce bio-SM in the mass balance method**, and KUMHO, the largest synthetic rubber manufacturer in South Korea, will produce bio-SSBR (Solution Styrene Butadiene Rubber)*, one of main products for high-functional tires by using bio-SM. Sumitomo Corporation will be coordinating the collaboration and develop bio material market. The companies plan to commence production of biopolymer in 2024.
Bio-SM is from bio-naphtha that is bio-based raw material such as waste and residues. Conventionally, naphtha is extracted from crude oil and has been widely used to produce basic chemical elements such as ethylene and butadiene. By increasing the use of bio-SM from bio-naphtha, the companies expect to reduce carbon and greenhouse gas (GHG) generation, or carbon footprint, as well as strengthen ESG management cooperation network.