top of page

Idemitsu Mulls Bio-naphtha-based Ethylene Production in Japan

Updated: Apr 2

Hidden away in a joint press release announcing that Idemitsu Kosan and Mitsui Chemicals would further optimize ethylene production at Chiba, Japan, by consolidating their ethylene complexes at the site was an indication that future ethylene production might partially at least be based on bio-naphtha and chemically recycled feedstocks.

Idemitsu is one of Japan's leading refiners and has plans to produce sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) at the Chiba site. The plan would be to shift away from conventional fossil-derived naphtha to bio-naphtha generated as a byproduct of its sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) business, as well as employ naphtha derived from chemical recycling of used plastic at a facility scheduled to begin operation in fiscal 2025. Idemitsu and Mitsui Chemicals are joint venture partners in polyolefins producer Prime Polymer.

"Consolidation" can be a Japanese euphemism for shutting down production assets and this is indeed the case in the current announcement. Idemitsu and Mitsui Chemicals established joint venture Chiba Chemicals Manufacturing LLP in April 2010 to jointly operate two crackers at the site: Idemitsu's 370,000 tonnes/year cracker and Mitsui's 550,000 tonnes/year unit. The smaller faces the chop by fiscal 2027, which starts in April of that year.


bottom of page