MCP-HEK to Expand Chemical Bismuth Output by 1,000 tonnes

World largest chemical bismuth maker, MCP-HEK will increase the bismuth products including bismuth oxide. The firm is building new plant in Hangzhou of China to meet growing demand. The firm starts the new plant after April 2007 expanding the capacity from current 2,700 tonnes per year in Europe and USA to 3,700 tonnes. The Japanese agent, Morimura Bros., Inc. will have inventory to supply for domestic users stably.MCP-HEK, was established in 1948 originally and entered into partnership with British rare metal smelter, MCP joining MCP group, produces chemical bismuth including bismuth oxide, bismuth nitrate and bismuth hydroxide. The firm produced 2,000 tonnes and the sales were 52 million euro in 2005. Morimura Bros. signed agency agreement with MCP-HEK.Bismuth is used as alloy material with low melting point for solder. Chemical bismuth is used for wide applications including automotive anticorrosion paint, low melting glass for automobile and television, optical glass, varistor, ferrite and electronic ceramics. Market focuses on the metal as alternative material to lead recently.World bismuth output is estimated to be around 8,000 tonnes per year. The demand is apparently around 7,500 tonnes. Morimura Bros. expects the demand will increase by maximum 1,500 tonnes, including 500 tonnes for low melting glass as alternative to lead and 1,000 tonnes for solder.Japanese bismuth demand also increases. The demand increased to 1,417 tonnes in 2004 from 634 tonnes in 2001 and 1,050 tonnes in 2002. The domestic output is flat at around 500 tonnes. Japan imports the balance.