Mitsui Chemicals to Build New Tafmer POE Plant in Singapore

Back in the day, when the main market for polyolefin elastomers (POEs) was impact modification of polypropylene automotive compounds, there was talk of a new plant in North America. Now, as solar module encapsulation sheet emerges as the key growth application, Mitsui Chemicals has decided to go full throttle on a major capacity expansion in Singapore, adding 120,000 tonnes/year of Tafmer production capability at a site where it already boasts capacity of 225,000 tonnes/year. The new capacity is scheduled to be up and running by March 2025 (by the end of fiscal year 2024).

This is the second announcement in a matter of days for a POE expansion after joint venture Sabic SK Nexlene announced a 60,000-tonnes/year expansion in South Korea.

These are heady times for the POE market. New Chinese players are poised to enter the POE market imminently, while ExxonMobil Chemical’s 400,000-tonnes/year Vistamaxx propylene-based POE expansion in North America will come onstream next year, freeing up capacity at its 300,000-tonnes/year Singapore site to potentially manufacture ethylene-based Exact POE for the solar encapsulant sheet market.

The implications these developments and more are detailed in MLT Analytics’ 2022 report Global Ethylene-based POE/POP Report— A detailed market and technology overview (2019–2030).


Image: Mitsui Chemicals