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Shin-Etsu Chemical to Boost PVC Output from Netherlands Plant by 100,000tpy

Shin-Etsu Chemical Co., Ltd. has announced that Shin-Etsu PVC B.V. in The Netherlands, will expand PVC production capacity at its Pernis Plant from 350,000 tons/year to 450,000 tons/year. Shin-Etsu PVC is Shin-Etsu Chemical's 100%-owned Group company and its European PVC production and sales base.

The expansion work will proceed in two phases after it starts shortly and is planned to finally be completed in October 2006. The investment amount required for this expansion plan is expected to be Euro 50 million (about 7 billion yen).

At the end of 1999, Shin-Etsu Chemical, acquired the VCM (vinyl chloride monomer)/PVC (polyvinyl chloride) business venture of Shell Chemical Ltd. and Akzo Nobel Chemical NV. From January of 2000, production and sales of VCM and PVC began under the newly named company Shin-Etsu PVC B.V., and right from the start this company has been contributing to the Shin-Etsu Group's profit growth.

With the prospect of growing demand for PVC in Europe in the future, Shin-Etsu PVC B.V. has decided to expand its plant. Shin-Etsu PVC's present production capacity is 440,000 tons/year including 90,000 tons provided by Neste Co., Finland, where production is consigned. With this expansion and improvement of its plant in Pernis, Shin-Etsu PVC will further increase its PVC production efficiency, which will result in an increase of the company's production capacity to 540,000 tons/year.

Previously, in November 2003, Shin-Etsu PVC expanded its VCM (vinyl chloride monomer) production capacity from 500,000 tons/year to 620,000 tons/year.

Shin-Etsu PVC accurately anticipated the needs of its European customers, and with its powerful sales capabilities, almost full production and good sales have continued for the past four years. After the completion of the present expansion of production capacity, the company is considering to even further increase its PVC production capacity.

In Europe, bullish growth is anticipated in the demand for PVC in the future in such application areas as window frames that are sought after for their insulating quality as an energy-saving countermeasure, as well as for applications in water and sewage pipes.

Shin-Etsu Chemical is producing PVC using a tripolar production structure of the U.S., Europe and Japan, and its total PVC production capacity has reached 3.23 million tons/year, making Shin-Etsu the world's largest PVC maker. Shin-Etsu Chemical recently announced that their U.S. Group company Shintech Inc., its core PVC manufacturing base in the U.S., would construct large integrated manufacturing facilities for electrolysis, VCM and PVC. This construction is being carried out in two phases: one in 2006 and the other in 2007, and will increase Shintech's PVC production capacity from 2.04 million tons/year to 2.64 million tons/year.

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