By MARI IWATA
TOKYO -- A paraxylene plant jointly built by Cosmo Oil and Hyundai Oilbank in South Korea began commercial operations Friday, five months earlier than planned, Cosmo said in a statement.
With the plant's annual output of 800,000 metric tons of paraxylene and 120,000 tons of benzene, the two companies aim to grab a sizeable chunk of Asia's growing petrochemical market, Cosmo said.
Paraxylene is used in producing polyester, a raw material for plastic bottles and textiles.
Cosmo also aims to reduce local light distillate supply by exporting to the paraxylene plant, as demand for gasoline is on the decline in Japan, according to the statement.
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