Industry News

Grace Celebrates 50 Years in Japan

Published on 2010-11-17. Author : SpecialChem

COLUMBIA, Md. & TOKYO -- W. R. Grace & Co. is recognizing fifty years of business operations in Japan.

The company is celebrating the anniversary with a special event in Tokyo, involving customers, joint venture partners and employees, including Grace Chairman, President and CEO Fred Festa.

Grace entered the Japanese market in November 1960 with the founding of the subsidiary Darex KK (later renamed Grace Japan KK in 1985). The first office opened in Tokyo that same year, followed by the construction of a manufacturing facility in Atsugi in 1962 for the production of can sealants and compounds used by the packaging industry to protect food and beverages from bacteria and other contaminants, extend shelf life and preserve flavor. In later years, the site began production of concrete admixtures that improve the quality, strength, durability and appearance of concretes for the construction industry.

Other significant milestones include the formation of a joint venture with chemical manufacturer Denki Kagaku Kogyo K. K. (also known as DENKA) in 1988 to support the construction industry (currently named Grace Chemicals K. K.); and, the formation of ART KK, a business alliance between Advanced Refining Technologies LLC (Grace's joint venture with Chevron Products Company) and Japan Energy Corporation (currently JX Nippon Oil & Energy Corporation) in 2002 to support the petroleum refining industry. Through this alliance, ART KK markets and sells hydroprocessing catalysts that upgrade heavy oils and remove certain impurities.

Currently, Grace sells many silica-alumina-based products in Japan, including oil refining catalysts (fluid catalytic cracking and hydroprocessing); polyolefin catalysts and various catalyst supports; material-based specialty products; and life and analytical sciences applications (devices and media products), as well as can sealants and compounds and concrete admixtures manufactured in Atsugi.

Mr. Festa commented, "As a testament to half a century of dedicated customer support, Grace today enjoys strong business relationships with many of Japan's leading companies. Our operations in the country are a cornerstone of Grace's business in Asia Pacific." Grace's revenues in Asia Pacific for the nine months ending September 30, 2010 were $348.5 million.

Hiroshi Mitani, President of Grace Japan, said, "We are proud of our efforts to supply Grace's high-caliber products to Japanese customers and to be seen as an important manufacturer in the country. We will continue to introduce innovative products that Grace develops from facilities in Japan and around the world."

About Grace:

Grace is a leading global supplier of catalysts and other products to petroleum refiners; catalysts for the manufacture of plastics; silica-based engineered and specialty materials for a wide range of industrial applications; sealants and coatings for food and beverage packaging, and specialty chemicals, additives and building materials for commercial and residential construction. Founded in 1854, Grace has operations in over 40 countries.

Source: Grace

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