SABIC, global leader in diversified chemicals, celebrates the 50th anniversary of its Moka manufacturing plant, one of the largest manufacturing factories in Japan. Since its inception in 1971, the plant, which currently has 145 employees, has continued to develop innovative solutions that drive better product performance and contribute towards practical applications in consumers' daily lives.
Located in the Tochigi prefecture, about 100km from Tokyo, the plant has compounding capabilities to produce engineering plastics and high-performance plastic that serve more than 200 customers across a broad range of industries including factory automation, automotive, electronics, food packaging and healthcare.
Li Lei, SABIC Vice President and Regional Head, North Asia said: 'We are proud to mark this significant milestone in SABIC's history in Japan. Throughout Moka Plant's history, we have consistently delivered customized and diversified innovative solutions by collaborating with local and global customers, demonstrating agility in supporting the evolving needs of our customers over the past 50 years.'
'Our dedicated and expert teams are the cornerstone of our success, delivering excellence, quality and reliability to our customers and I thank them for their unwavering commitment and contributions to the company,' he added.
Customized innovation to meet on-ground needs
Collaboration and agility underpin SABIC's business, and the company supports the realization of customers' strategic growth and sustainability ambitions.
During the COVID-19 pandemic for instance, the Moka plant quickly pivoted its operations to meet a sudden surge in demand for SABIC's flame retardant resins from a customer. The material solution was essential in supplying the production of urgently needed bedside monitors that were used in Intensive Care Units (ICUs). The customer, in response to the Japanese Government's request and supported by SABIC, was able to increase its production level by five times. This close collaboration with the customer, enabled the provision of urgent medical supplies amidst rising COVID-19 cases.
Bedside monitors manufactured using SABIC's Flame Retardant material
Other material solutions developed at the plant include a range of resins utilized in the production of:
Microwave food trays that can withstand high heat and chemical resistance
Automotive battery parts that are lightweight and durable
Automotive head lamps which are manufactured to withstand high impact and transparency, in place of glass headlamps that are heavier.
SABIC's lightweight, high performance resin alternatives to automotive parts like the car fenders, that are typically made of heavier metals, contribute towards energy savings across both electrical and fuel sources - particularly in battery components such as the casing.
Environmental and community engagement
In line with SABIC's 2025 sustainability target of reducing 25 per cent of its energy consumption by 2025 as compared to 2010, the plant has upgraded its operations with the installation of high efficiency, energy-saving production equipment such as air compressors, pumps, transformers, motor as well as LED lights used in the work areas. The Moka site has consistently adopted a largely zero waste approach since 2015, with waste categorized into distinct communal collection areas, enabling nearly all waste collected at the plant to be recycled.
Supporting the Japanese government's 2050 goal to be carbon neutral, the plant is also planning for the installation of solar panels to play a substantive role in reducing carbon emissions.
The Moka plant has received multiple awards in recognition of its longstanding customer relations and proactive energy saving initiatives. In February this year, SABIC was awarded 'Premium Partner' by FUJIFILM Business Innovation Corporation, for the 10th successive year, acknowledging SABIC's contributions towards delivering technological solutions and strengthening sustainability commitments.
SABIC contributes to local energy saving campaigns as an executive member of the Tochigi District Association of Energy Management. The company has also been recognised by the Japanese government for its ongoing contributions towards the region's sustainable development.
In addition, the company remains steadfast in its commitment to bringing value to the people and communities in which it operates. Last year SABIC collaborated with the Japan Red Cross Tochigi branch to donate funds towards the provision of surgical masks and protective gear to over 700 frontline medical staff in the Haga Red Cross Hospital.
As a high-performance polymer compounding plant, SABIC will continue to deliver Chemistry that Matters™ to build a brighter tomorrow as economies rebuild and recover post-pandemic.
Japan Moka plant in 1971
Japan Moka plant in 2021