ENEOS to shut chemical materials plant
NHK -- Oct 28
Japan's largest oil wholesaler says it will cease operations at a chemical materials factory around next October as competition in the industry intensifies. Eneos will seek to sell part of the plant to rival Idemitsu Kosan.

Executives announced the decision on the factory located in Aichi Prefecture, central Japan, at a news conference.

ENEOS President Ota Katsuyuki said " It is inevitable that demand for petroleum products will continue shrinking. Competition in petrochemicals has been heating up in Asia. We decided to stop production at the plant because of its relative lack of competitiveness."

The plant can annually manufacture 400,000 tons of para-xylene, an ingredient used in products such as chemical fiber.

Eneos decided to streamline production as firms in China and other places increase their competitiveness.

The company says para-xylene is expensive to produce because it relies on imports of naphtha.

Eneos says it agreed with Idemitsu Kosan to launch talks on a possible sale of part of the factory.

It plans to retain the 180 or so workers at the plant through measures such as moving them to other parts of the company.

News source: NHK
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