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NIPPON SHOKUBAI at a Glance

NIPPON SHOKUBAI at a Glance PDF [379KB]


Company Outline

Company Outline Image

Description of Business

Description of Business Image

Examples Applications

  • Diapers Image
    Diapers
    (Superabsorbent Polymers)
  • Fabric detergents Image
    Fabric detergents
    (Ethylene oxide, Ethanolamine, Secondary alcohol ethoxylates)
  • Flat panel display Image
    Flat panel displays
    (Acrylic resin for optical materials, Resist polymers for color filter)
  • Fuel-cell materials Image
    Fuel-cell materials
    (Electrolyte Sheets for SOFC (Solid Oxide Fuel Cell))

※in parentheses are our products, whitch are the raw materials to make products indicated before them.


Global expansion of Acrylic Acid(“AA”) and Superabsorbent Polymers(“SAP”)

Nippon Shokubai is a global chemical company, and boasts the world's top-class production capacity for acrylic acid and superabsorbent polymers. Acrylic acid was developed by establishing a method of propylene direct oxidation* – another world first in 1970 – and a technology that has been widely adopted among leading overseas acrylic acid manufacturers. Nippon Shokubai produces not only acrylic acid but also derivative products, such as acrylates and superabsorbent polymers. These products are used as raw materials for paints, adhesives, diapers and so on. Since they are in high demand, Nippon Shokubai continues to operate its acrylic acid plants at full production capacity.
* An oxidation method in which propylene and oxygen are directly oxidi-zed via a catalyst

Global Launch of our Core Business

Global Launch of our Core Business Image

Global expansion

Nippon Shokubai has been expanding its core businesses in superabsorbent polymers and acrylic acid globally, beginning with the establishment of a production base for the former in Tennessee, USA, in 1988. Today, with production bases in Japan, the US, Belgium, China, Indonesia, and Singapore, we provide a stable supply of the products on a global scale.

The strengths of Nippon Shokubai's SAP

Superabsorbent polymers are used mainly in diapers. By drawing on the company's strengths such as its high product development capability, innovative manufacturing processes, in-house-manufactured raw materials and intellectual property strategy, Nippon Shokubai boasts the world's top-level market share.

AA Production Capacity

AA Production Capacity Image

SAP Production Capacity

SAP Production Capacity Image


Nippon Shokubai Group Mission / Corporate Credo

Business Portfolio Image


A History of Pursuing Challenges

History Technology innovation

Origin of company name, Nippon Shokubai Co., Ltd.

Shokubai is Japanese for "catalyst." Catalysts are essential in the manufacture of chemical products; our name conveys the drive for growth through developing proprietary catalysts and refining their capabilities.

Commitment to proprietary technology

The word Nippon ("Japan") in Nippon Shokubai reflects our commitment to developing technologies in-house.
Whereas many chemical companies adopt technology from overseas, Nippon Shokubai has focused on product development using proprietary technology since its founding.

Manufacturing technology expertise

As Nippon Shokubai's production processes are also developed in-house, it is proud of its manufacturing technology expertise, which constantly evolves through steady improvements made on the production floor.

Nippon Shokubai Process for acrylic acid a world first

Based on the direct oxidation of propylene, Nippon Shokubai's acrylic acid production technology is adopted over the world. Licensees of the technology include major acrylic acid manufacturers.

Superabsorbent polymers

In 1985, Nippon Shokubai began full-scale production of superabsorbent polymers at a plant with an annual capacity of 10,000 tons. With their application in diapers, its annual production capacity has grown to 610,000 tons over a quarter century later, and it continues to grow strongly.

Selection and focus

In 2003, Nippon Shokubai made a strategic decision to withdraw from the phthalic anhydride business, which had been a product since the company's founding, to concentrate on other areas. The company has since developed a structure that earns solid revenue from its core businesses in acrylic acid, superabsorbent polymers, and ethylene oxide.


The 2nd Medium-term Business Plan “Reborn Nippon Shokubai 2020 NEXT”

We have been working from April 2014 on its long-term business plan and the 1st medium-term business plan which is the action plan for the initial three years. We have now formulated 2nd medium-term business plan "Reborn Nippon Shokubai 2020 NEXT," which spans the period from fiscal 2017 to fiscal 2020.
We reconfirm our intention to follow our corporate credo: "Safety takes priority over production," and we are making every effort to implement the preventive/corrective measures to avoid accidents. We believe that only through these actions will we be able to regain the confidence of stake holders as a chemical company.
We will deliver the products and services that provide affluence and comfort to people and society, and we will strive as a team to achieve the "Reborn Nippon Shokubai"—a company*) that everybody can be proud of.

*) A company that promotes work safety and peace of mind
A company that rewards people who make their best efforts and achieve results
A company that people can be proud to work for.

The plan is designed to ensure safe, reliable production activities. The plan also highlights profitability over sales and acceleration of creating new businesses and products. During fiscal 2020, the final year of the plan, we aim to be in a position to prospect further strong Group growth for next ten years.

Business Progress (FY3/2014 FY3/2020) Image