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Lucite Begins Producing Methyl Methacrylate Using New Energy Efficient Technology

The Board of Lucite International Group Limited is delighted to announce that the world's first Alpha plant has begun producing methyl methacrylate (MMA).

The new 120,000 tes plant is located on Jurong Island in Singapore and will supply customers in Asia, where demand for MMA has grown most rapidly. Alpha technology offers 40% savings over existing technologies in both construction and production and has the potential to revolutionise the cost base of the MMA industry.

The process uses readily available commodity chemicals ethylene, carbon monoxide and methanol as raw materials instead of conventional materials such as hydrocyanic acid and isobutylene. The fact these are so readily available means that future Alpha plants can be sited anywhere in the world and are not subject to the scale limitations which impact the existing MMA processes.

Commenting on today's announcement, Ian Lambert, Chief Executive of Lucite, said:

"We've been developing this revolutionary technology for over a decade. Today's announcement is an exciting milestone and we are very excited about the opportunities Alpha presents for the future of our business. The combination of low-cost feedstock, increased scale, lower unit capital costs and much higher conversion rates than existing processes, means that an immediate step change in cost performance will be achieved by our plant in Singapore, which will be the lowest cost MMA plant in the world when it achieves full production later this year."

Lucite International's second Alpha plant, which is already in an advanced stage of planning, will be designed with a 250,000 tes capacity.

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