By MARI IWATA
TOKYO -- Mitsui Chemicals is considering investing in the US
petrochemical business using cheap
gas there as a feedstock, the company's president
"We're in talks with several companies," Toshikazu Tanaka
told reporters. "The US is a very big market. We're
Mr. Tanaka said the company hasn't started talking about any
concrete projects yet and declined to name
gas prices resulting from the US shale-gas boom are
stimulating new investments in petrochemical plants there.
In March, Royal Dutch Shell said it would build a $2 billion
petrochemical plant in Pennsylvania
near the Marcellus Shale formation and would use natural gas as
a primary feedstock.
Also in March, Dow Chemical CEO Andrew Liveris said his
company, which processes around 850,000 bpd of oil equivalent
into plastics and other products, is focusing on increasing its
US presence due to the lower natural gas prices.
In July, Yoshimitsu Kobayashi, president of rival Mitsubishi
Chemical Holdings, said the company had been looking for a good
opportunity to build a factory in North America to take
advantage of the cheap natural
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