Investments, Partnership

Jayant Agro, Mitsui, Itoh Oil on castor polyol JV

Update 9-7-2013: Mitsui Chemicals reported on a press release that the new joint venture, which will be based in Gujarat, India, will construct a 8 ktpy castor oil-based polyol facility. Production will commence on January 2015.

Mitsui said they are the world’s only commercial supplier of non-edible plant derived bio-polyol. The JV will make bio-polyol cost competitive with fossil-derived polyol allowing Mitsui Chemicals to target further expansion of automotive application sales on its own and through its six system houses strategically located throughout Asia


India-based castor derivatives manufacturer Jayant Agro plans to form a joint venture with Japan-based Mitsui Chemicals and Itoh Oil Chemicals — a manufacturer of castor oil-based specialty chemicals. The joint venture called Vithal Castor Polyols Pvt. Ltd. will focus on manufacturing castor oil-based polyols.

Jayant Agro will have 50% of the JV’s equity stake, Mitsui will acquire 40% and Itoh Oil with 10%. Details of the project are still being worked out, according to the companies.

If the blog recalled in 2008, Itoh Oil Chemicals acquired a small equity stake (about 5%) of Jayant Agro worth $1.6m at that time. Also in 2008, Jayant Agro formed a joint venture with Mitsui & Co. called Ihsedu Specialty Chemicals Pvt. Ltd., which is now manufacturing castor oil-based specialty chemicals in India.

In 2011, Jayant Agro bought back Mitsui’s 24% share of Ihsedu Specialty Chemicals, and the company became Jayant Agro’s wholly-owned subsidiary. Mitsui & Co. entered a non-exclusive distributorship agreement with Ihsedu Specialty Chemicals and Jayant Agro for the distribution of Ihsedu’s products.

With the blog’s coverage of the polyamides and polyols sectors, castor oil is seeing a comeback in demand from these markets.

In April 2013, France-based specialty chemical firm Arkema has acquired a 25% stake in Ihsedu Agrochem, which processes castor seeds into oil and has been one of Arkema’s main suppliers. Arkema said Jayant Agrochem will provide long-term secure and competitive access to castor oil — a strategic raw material for Arkema’s manufacture of biobased polyamides.

The blog is not sure if Arkema also manufactures castor-based polyols. However, I do recall BASF producing castor oil-based polyols under the trademark Lupranol Balance 50.


About Doris de Guzman

Will Green Chemistry save the world or is it hype? Doris de Guzman examines alternative processing, new technology, R&D and other sustainability initiatives aimed at preventing pollution; replacing ingredients; and using renewable feedstocks in Green Chemistry. She has been covering the oleochemicals market for 15 years and spread her beat to inorganics, biofuels and green chemistry.


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