Chemical Engineering magazine has awarded the 2009 Kirkpatrick Chemical Engineering Achievement Award to Lucite International UK Ltd for Alpha, the Company’s new, patented technology for manufacturing methyl methacrylate. The biennial award, which was first given in the early 1930s, this year recognises the most noteworthy chemical engineering technology commercialised anywhere in the world during 2007-2008. Lucite International representatives collected the award at a special ceremony, which followed this year’s Chem Show in New York City on November 17.
Ian Lambert and the Lucite International (LI) Board hosted representatives of Mitsubishi Rayon Company Ltd (MRC), customers, suppliers, and its construction partners at the official opening of its first Alpha technology plant on Jurong Island, Singapore on Monday 9 November 2009. Guest of Honour, the Senior Minister of State for Trade and Industry and Education, Mr Iswaran declared the plant officially open during a traditional ceremony, which featured the performance of a lion dance to bestow good luck on the site’s operations. The site has been at full-scale production of MMA using the brand new, patented Alpha technology for one year now and employees were proud to be involved in the day’s proceedings to celebrate this important landmark in the Company’s history. A team of people from LI and its new owner, MRC, is investigating the possible roll-out of Alpha technology to other potential sites globally.
Lucite International’s Alpha Technology has been selected by the judges of the ICIS Innovation Awards 2009 to go forward to the final round of judging in the category for Best Product Innovation. All short-listed companies in each of the four categories for innovation will be published in ICIS Chemical Business on 3 August and be made public on the www.ICIS.com/awards http://www.icis.com/awards website at the same time.
The judges will meet again on 24 August to select the winning entry in each category, and to determine an overall winner of the 2009 Awards. The ICIS Innovation Awards are designed to recognise those companies that have made significant steps forward in technological and business innovation, with tangible results emerging during 2008 and the early part of this year.
Lucite International (LI) has won the Chemical Industry Association’s (CIA) prestigious 2009 Innovation Award for its Alpha technology. The award recognises the way in which Alpha revolutionises the production of methyl methacrylate and the wide spread potential that this brings to a whole range of global industries. LI opened the first in a series of planned Alpha technology plants in Singapore in November 2008. It was ahead of schedule, within budget and up to its initial 120kte capacity immediately after the commissioning phase. David Johnson, who began the scientific development work for Alpha in the early 1990s and who has played a major part in its successful translation into a world-scale plant said: “The Alpha team is delighted to receive this important recognition from the CIA. For most of us, seeing something through from a basic idea to a brand new production facility is a once in a lifetime experience and one that we’re all immensely proud to have been a part of.”
Steve Elliott, Chief Executive of the CIA, paid tribute to LI and other members. He said: “This year the quality of entries reflects the outstanding contribution made by the chemical industry to a better quality of life for us all despite tough trading times. The CIA awards are about recognising that excellence. This offers tremendous encouragement and visibility to an industry which is largely unsung. All of the entrants should be proud of their success.”
The Innovation Award was sponsored by Innospec. Alpha technology offers a revolutionary new way of manufacturing methyl methacrylate, which is the main building block for acrylics used for many everyday applications from baths and LCD screen to signage and furniture. LI’s chemists and engineers developed the Alpha technology to increase production flexibility and to achieve a more environmentally sustainable route to MMA. Further Alpha plants are planned by the Company.
On November 11, 2008, Mitsubishi Rayon Co., Ltd. announced its intention to purchase Lucite International Group Limited of the United Kingdom, and to convert the company into a consolidated subsidiary of Mitsubishi Rayon. We herewith announce that all procedures required for the said purchase and the inclusion of Lucite International in the Company’s scope of consolidation were completed on May 28, 2009.
The acquisition of Lucite International will make Mitsubishi Rayon into the leading company in the world MMA monomer market, and it constitutes the first step in expanding the Company’s core business, which is a priority issue under our current medium-term plan for three years to March 2011.
Mitsubishi Rayon will become the sole possessor of the world’s current three main technologies for MMA production, and the Company will be the largest maker of MMA monomer with a balanced production structure encompassing the United States, Europe, and East Asia. Thanks to this production system and its superior technology, including the new ethylene process (Alpha technology) of MMA production, the Company will be well-placed to satisfy all its customers’ needs, thereby achieving growth.
The assets and liabilities held by Lucite International will be included on the balance sheet of Mitsubishi Rayon for the settlement of accounts, on a consolidated basis, as of June 30, 2009, the end of the first quarter of fiscal 2009 (the business year ending March 31, 2010). However, profits and losses recorded by Lucite for the first quarter will be excluded from the income statements of Mitsubishi Rayon on a consolidated basis.