Scientific insights

Teijin Japan, and its holding company in the Netherlands, is actively involved in the production of biomethanol. With a Dutch consortium, it has been re-purposing an existing methanol plant in Delfzijl into a sustainable production centre for biomethanol. Another consequence of its Dutch presence is Teijin’s new interest in algae culture. Long regarded as an unavoidable evil, the huge potential of algae has been ‘discovered,’ thanks to new scientific insights in the Netherlands. Algae could become a natural source for nutraceuticals, even a natural alternative for many oil products. This is an interesting prospect for Teijin, which is active in synthetic fibers, plastics and pharmaceuticals. “This is why we have a strategic partnership with AquaPhyto, a Dutch venture company that leads the industry in the study of algae,” says Ichii.

Takeover benefits

When the Teijin Group first opened its Dutch office, it was looking to expand the company’s global market prominence in aramid fibres, by taking over the Dutch company, Accordis.
Thanks to the 2001 acquisition, Teijin Aramid now accounts for half of all global production of aramid fibres. Over €1 billion has been spent on rationalising and expanding the hyper-modern production facilities in Emmen and Delfzijl. As a result, Dutch production has multiplied by 2.5 times.

Advantages and opportunities

“The Netherlands - and specifically the Amsterdam Metropolitan Area - has a lot of advantages for us,” says Ichii. “Tax conditions are favorable. There are daily direct flights from Amsterdam Airport Schiphol to Tokyo and Osaka. You can get to practically any European destination and back in a single day. Another advantage is the network of business service providers.”

As a resident of Amstelveen, Ichii - just like his wife - sometimes has the feeling that he hasn’t left Japan: there’s a large Japanese community in the area, with lots of shops, restaurants and activities. In his spare time, he even sings in a Japanese choir. Ichii is pleased with both personal and professional opportunities here. “In terms of developing sustainable solutions for products and processes, the Netherlands is very inspiring,” he says.

The art of sponsorship

For several years, Teijin has sponsored the Gelders Orchestra, which is based in Arnhem and has as one of its conductors Kenichiro Kobayashi from Japan.
Teijin is also actively supporting the renovation of the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam by developing and supplying the composite material for construction of the revolutionary floating roof of the museum foyer.
  

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