HOUSTON – Kuraray America Inc. celebrated the grand opening of its new, $300 million, 81-acre, green-field KURARAY POVAL™ plant in Pasadena, Texas. The opening of this plant further distinguishes Kuraray Co. Ltd. as the largest producer of polyvinyl alcohol (PVOH) in the world.

“Today is an exciting opportunity for Kuraray America Inc., as we continue to increase our footprint within the Bayport area. Adding the KURARAY POVAL site to our portfolio will only ensure continued growth for our company and provide our customers with the ability to purchase product from a truly global scale,” said Bob Chvala, Vice President and General Manager of the PVOH Business Unit for Kuraray America Inc.

The new KURARAY POVAL plant will produce 40,000 metric tons of PVOH annually and employ a total workforce of nearly 100 employees (54 Kuraray employees and 40 contract personnel). Kuraray America Inc. employs over 400 people in the Houston area, with three additional plant sites and the Americas headquarters located in the region. KURARAY POVAL is used in a wide range of industries, including paper, textile, emulsion, PVC, construction, adhesives and films. Production of PVOH has already started at the new plant.

Kuraray America Inc.’s grand opening festivities were infused with Japanese customs, including a samurai sword ribbon cutting, Daruma painting of the eye and a Kagamiwari (sake barrel) ceremony. Executives from Kuraray Co. Ltd.’s Japanese headquarters, including President and CEO Masaaki Ito, participated in the ceremonies.