SEOUL, May 17 (Yonhap) -- Kumho Petrochemical said Wednesday it has signed an initial pact with two Japanese firms to secure a key biomaterial needed for tire manufacturing from Japan.
Kumho Petrochemical signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) on the supply of bio-styrene monomer (bio-SM) with oil and petrochemical firm Idemitsu Kosan and Sumitomo Corp., the company said in a statement.
The Korean synthetic rubber company plans to produce one of its main products, Solution Styrene Butadiene Rubber, for high-performance tires using bio-SM supplied by Idemitsu Kosan. Sumitomo will coordinate cooperation between the two companies, it said.
The three companies aim to finalize details on the supply deal by the end of 2024 and help Kumho Petrochemical begin full-scale operation.
Bio-SM is from bionaphtha that is bio-based, from waste and residue. Conventionally, naphtha is extracted from crude oil and has been widely used to make basic chemical products, such as ethylene and butadiene.
By increasing the use of bio-SM from bionaphtha, Kumho Petrochemical expects to reduce carbon and greenhouse gas emissions.
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