Idemitsu Kosan, KUMHO Petrochemical and Sumitomo Corporation sign MOU to Create a Bio Material Supply Chain
No. 21 Date registered : 2023.05.17


May 17th, 2023
Idemitsu Kosan Co., Ltd., KUMHO Petrochemical Co., Ltd., and Sumitomo Corporation have signed Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to establish a long-term collaboration for the development and further growth of the sustainable polymers and chemicals market in Asia.

In this project, Idemitsu, the largest SM manufacturer in Japan, will produce bio-SM in the mass balance method**, and KUMHO, the largest synthetic rubber manufacturer in South Korea, will produce bio-SSBR (Solution Styrene Butadiene Rubber)*, one of main products for high-functional tires by using bio-SM. Sumitomo Corporation will be coordinating the collaboration and develop bio material market. The companies plan to commence production of biopolymer by 2024.

Bio-SM is from bio-naphtha that is bio-based raw material such as waste and residues. Conventionally, naphtha is extracted from crude oil and has been widely used to produce basic chemical elements such as ethylene and butadiene. By increasing the use of bio-SM from bio-naphtha, the companies expect to reduce carbon and greenhouse gas (GHG) generation, or carbon footprint, as well as strengthen ESG management cooperation network.

【bio-SM Supply Chain】
*bio-SSBR : SSBR is a synthetic rubber made from Styrene Monomer and Butadiene and given its properties of wear resistance and high mechanical strength, it is used across different sectors which include car tire, hose and anti-vibration rubber.

**mass balance method : a mass balance method that assigns properties to parts of products according to the inputs of raw materials with those properties when blending biomass-derived raw materials with certain properties with petroleum-based raw materials without such properties in processing those materials into finished products and distributing them.

Idemitsu Kosan Co., Ltd.
Head Office: Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo
Representative Director & Chief Executive Officer: Shunichi Kito
Year of Establishment: 1940
Main Operations: Idemitsu Group is expanding its business globally in such areas as petroleum products, lubricants, asphalt, oil and gas development, renewable energy, coal, petrochemicals, and electronic materials

KUMHO Petrochemical Co., Ltd.
Head Office: Jung-gu, Seoul
President and CEO: Jong-hoon Baek
Year of Establishment: 1970
Main Operations: Kumho Petrochemical is possessing the largest synthetic rubber manufacturing capacity in the world, and doing businesses in various fields, such as synthetic resins, specialty chemicals, nanocarbon, energy, and building materials. Kumho Petrochemical, which has grown as an active player in Korea’s industrial development for the past 50 years, will stand at the forefront of material innovation and will become a global petrochemical company that develops and provides higher values.

Sumitomo Corporation
Head Office: Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo
Representative Director, President and Chief Executive Officer: Masayuki Hyodo
Year of Establishment: 1919
Main Operations: With its global network and based on trust from companies in various industries and from consumers, Sumitomo Corporation engages in multifaceted business activities by making the most of its Integrated Corporate Strength. These business activities include sales of a variety of products and services, import and export, trilateral trade, and domestic and international business investment.


No. 212023.05.17
Idemitsu Kosan, KUMHO Petrochemical and Sumitomo Corporation sign MOU to Create a Bio Material Supply Chain
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