Toray sets up membrane JV in Beijing

A groundbreaking ceremony for a large membrane production facility was held in the industrial development area of Shunyi Airport, Beijing, China, on 24 August 2009.

Japan’s Toray Industries Inc and China National BlueStar (Group) Co Ltd announced at the ceremony that the companies had on 17 July 2009 established a water treatment joint venture Toray BlueStar Membrane Co Ltd (TBMC) with headquarters in Beijing.

China BlueStar holds 49.9% and Toray a 50.1% in the project. TBMC is planning to invest approximately Yuan 500 million (approximately US$ 73 million) in construction of facilities for production of reverse osmosis membrane and assembly of membrane elements.

The plant is scheduled to go into production in October 2010 with an annual production capacity of 6.18 million m² of RO membrane and 130,000 RO membrane elements.

At the new production facility, the new company will introduce high-speed polyamide composite membrane manufacturing equipment and automatic winders for elements based on Toray’s state-of-the-art technology. With this facility, the annual RO membrane element production capacity of the Toray Group will increase by 1.5 times in 2010 compared with the current level of the capacity, including the Ehime Plant and Toray Membrane USA Inc, which are already operating.

Xi Yuxin, spokesperson of BlueStar, said China would need much more RO membrane than it could currently produce. Around 90% of the membranes used by domestic companies were imported. As a subsidiary of the state-owned ChemChina Group Corporation, BlueStar Co focuses on chemical products and new materials.