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Tokuyama was originally established around the soda ash business, which remains the Company’s traditional business. Soda ash is used in a variety of applications including glass, soap, detergents, food and beverage additives, and water treatment auxiliaries, while the production co-product, calcium chloride, is broadly used as an anti-freeze agent for roads and a moisture-absorption agent. Soda ash and calcium chloride are essential to Japanese industry and used often in everyday life. As the only manufacturer of soda ash in Japan, Tokuyama is working to enhance the security of its supply while raising global competitiveness for the future.

100 Years of Tradition Manufacturing Soda Ash

Tokuyama was founded in 1918 with the establishment of Nihon Soda Kogyo Co., Ltd. This company was created with the important mission of manufacturing soda ash in Japan using an ammonia-soda process, to remediate the reliance at the time on imported soda ash.
Tokuyama continues to manufacture soda ash, now as the sole manufacturer in Japan, with an estimated 40% share of the Japanese market. The Company has weathered numerous hurdles including trade liberalization, increased imports of natural soda ash from the United States, an oil crisis, and reduced demand, as other Japanese companies have withdrawn from the business.

Milestones in Tokuyama’s Soda Ash Business

Changing Manufacturing Processes and Co-Products to Secure Business Continuity

Tokuyama was founded in 1918 with the establishment of Nihon Soda Kogyo Co., Ltd. This company was created with the important mission of manufacturing soda ash in Japan using an ammonia-soda process, to remediate the reliance at the time on imported soda ash.
Tokuyama continues to manufacture soda ash, now as the sole manufacturer in Japan, with an estimated 40% share of the Japanese market. The Company has weathered numerous hurdles including trade liberalization, increased imports of natural soda ash from the United States, an oil crisis, and reduced demand, as other Japanese companies have withdrawn from the business.

Expertise Backed by a Century of Experience

Human resources play a major role in securing the continuity of the soda ash business. All employees who are involved in the soda ash business are proud to work for this founding business and motivated to ensure its continuity for future generations of employees.
Tokuyama’s soda ash plant, which supports the Company’s century-old business in this field, requires advanced operating and maintenance skills by employees who draw on a century of experience. These skills are refined at the production site and via small group activities, whereby employees examine a wide range of issues to make improvements, which are then shared with other groups. These small groups present their activities to one another, which promotes the professional development of employees.

Fulfilling Supplier Responsibilities and Enhancing Global Competitiveness

In 2014, Tokuyama established Tokuyama & Central Soda Inc. in a joint venture with Central Glass Co., Ltd., to aggregate the marketing of soda ash and calcium chloride and enhance customer support. The soda ash and granular calcium chloride manufacturing operations are currently running at full capacity to meet Tokuyama’s responsibilities as a supplier and the sole manufacturer of these products in Japan. The Company is expanding its production capacity for granular calcium chloride by 25%, with this new capacity to be ready in the fall of 2017, to further stabilize the supply.
To withstand increased competition from manufacturers in countries such as the U.S. and China, Tokuyama will implement further streamlining and maximize the use of its facilities to increase cost competitiveness. At the same time, the Company will further build on its strengths in quality control to enhance global competitiveness.

Applications for Soda Ash

Meeting Our Responsibilities as the Sole
Manufacturer in Japan

Tokuyama has launched the sodium silicate cullet and precipitated silica businesses as a way to increase its internal consumption of soda ash. Adding these products has been an asset in terms of expanding our business range and contributing revenues.
The Tokuyama Factory supplies many customers, due in part to being the sole supplier ofsoda ash manufactured in Japan. We invite our customers to tour the production site in person and share our initiatives for process safety, disaster mitigation, and occupational health and safety, to ease any supply concerns. We will continue to prepare against all possible risks, so that we can keep meeting our responsibilities as a supplier.

Hiroki Tanaka (right)

General Manager, Chemicals Manufacturing Department 1
Chemicals Business Division

Yoshimi Tamaki (left)

Manager, Manufacturing Section 1

Applications for Soda Ash

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