History of Kao's Chemical Business


Chemical Products Meeting the Needs of Many Industries All Over the World

Kao manufactured the first soap made in Japan 130 years ago. Throughout our history as a chemical maker, we have produced a wide range of products for various industries in the chemical industry field. Here is a brief look at events relating to chemical business at Kao over the years.


1887

[Japan]
Opening of Nagase Shoten in Tokyo, Japan by Kao's founder, Mr. Tomiro Nagase

1925

[Japan]
Tokyo Azuma factory (currently Tokyo Plant) began producing soap Struggled to expand production scale of soaps and shifted to full glycerin production

1925

[Japan]
Establishment of Kao Sekken Nagase Shokai Co., Ltd.
Aimed at mass production and mass selling and undertook management modernization

1928

[Japan]
Sales of ECONA edible oil for food industry use begun
Results from research into fats, the raw material used to produce soap, enabled Japan's first sales of shortening oil

1935

[Japan]
Based on detached Azuma factory, Dai Nihon Yushi Co., Ltd. established
Sales of coconut fatty acid begun

1937

[Japan]
Sales of fatty alcohol (octyl alcohol) begun

1939

[Japan]
Hydrogenation and dehydration (HD) process invented

1940

[Japan]
Nihon Yuki Co., Ltd. established through fifty-fifty investment with Tekkosha Co., Ltd.
Sakata Plant commenced operations in northern Japan

1944

[Japan]
Dai Nihon Yushi's Wakayama Plant commenced operations in western Japan
Began trial production of aircraft lubricating oil

1946

[Japan]
Kao Sekken Nagase Shokai Co., Ltd. renamed Kao Co., Ltd.

1949

[Japan]
Nihon Yuki Co., Ltd. renamed Kao Soap Co., Ltd.
At the same time, Kao Yushi Co., Ltd. established through the merger of Kao Co., Ltd and Dai Nihon Yushi Co., Ltd.

1950

[Japan]
Sales of VINYCIZER plasticizer begun

1951

[Japan]
Sales of surfactants begun

1952

[Japan]
Sales of FARMIN fatty amine begun

1954

[Japan]
Kao Soap Co., Ltd. established through the merger of Kao Soap Co., Ltd. and Kao Yushi Co., Ltd.
Sales of NEW ECONA shortening begun (cooking oil division)

1961

[Japan]
KAOLIZER urethane form catalysts, which served as the initial step towards the future development of urethane business

1964

[Japan]
Industrial Science Research Laboratories established in Wakayama
Tokyo Research Laboratories established in 1967 to enhance R&D activities
Sales of MIGHTY concrete additives begun
Producing high-strength and high-durability concrete, MIGHTY is used for building expressways, skyscrapers and other structures

[Worldwide]
Kao Industrial (Thailand) Co., Ltd. established
Kao (Taiwan) Corporation established

1970

[Japan]
Sales of De-inking agent for recycling waste paper begun

[Worldwide]
Sinor Kao S.A. (now Kao Corporation S.A.) established in Spain

1974

[Japan]
Kao-Quaker Co., Ltd. established (furan resin for casting. Joint venture
with Quaker Oats Co.(U.S.) and became a fully-owned subsidiary in 1997)

1975

[Worldwide]
Quimi-Kao S.A. de C.V. established in Mexico

1977

[Worldwide]
Pilipinas Kao, Inc. established as a joint venture company with Aboitiz & Co., Inc. in the Philippines. Plant built in Mindanao in 1979, and production of fatty alcohol, etc. made from coconut fatty acid begun

P.T. Polekao Indonesia Chemicals (now P.T. Kao Indonesia Chemicals) established

1978

[Japan]
Establishment of Tochigi Research Laboratories

1980

[Japan]
Kashima Plant, the second domestic chemical plant after our Wakayama Plant, began operation

Sales of toner binders for copiers begun
Sales of toners begun in 1983

1981

[Japan]
Toyohashi Plant completed. Began operating as our main plant for producing binder for casting

1987

[Worldwide]
High Point Chemical Corporation (now Kao Specialties Americas LLC) acquired in the United States

1988

[Worldwide]
Fatty Chemical (Malaysia) Sdn. Bhd. established
Kao (Southeast Asia) Pte. Ltd. (now Kao (Singapore) Private Ltd.) established

1991

[Japan]
Sales of CLEANTHROUGH cleaning agent for alternative chlorofluorocarbons begun

[Worldwide]
Kao Oleochemical (Malaysia) Sdn. Bhd. established

1992

[Worldwide]
Chemische Fabrik CHEM-Y GmbH (now Kao Chemicals GmbH) acquired in Germany

1995

[Worldwide]
Kao Plasticizer (Malaysia) Sdn. Bhd. established and production of plasticizers begun
Kao Chemical Corporation Shanghai established in China

1996

[Worldwide]
Kao Chemicals GmbH in Germany: Tertiary amine production plant opened
Kao Specialties Americas LLC in USA: Toner binders production plant operated and its sales begun
Kao Corporation S.A. in Spain: New plant for aroma chemicals opened

1997

[Worldwide]
Kao Chemical Corporation Shanghai in China: New sulfation facilities and manufacturing plant for MIGHTY concrete additive opened

1998

[Japan]
New fragrance production facility opened at the Wakayama Plant

2001

[Japan]
Production and sales of polishing agents for hard disk manufacturing begun

[worldwide]
New plants for fragrance and toner binder go into operation and sales begun at Kao Corporation S.A. in Spain

2002

[Japan]
Production and sales of colorants for inkjet printers begun

[Wordwide]
Fatty alcohol production plant expanded at Fatty Chemical (Malaysia) Sdn. Bhd. in Malaysia

2004

[Worldwide]
New plant for producing MIGHTY concrete additive opened at Kao Chemicals GmbH in Germany

2005

[Worldwide]
New plant opened in Thailand to boost production base in Southeast Asia
Kao Chemicals GmbH in Germany: Tertiary amine production plant expanded

2006

[Worldwide]
Kao Chemical Corporation Shanghai in China: New plant for producing refrigerant oil base built

2007

[Worldwide]
New plant in Pilipinas Kao, Inc. plant goes into operation, expanding yearly production capacity for fatty alcohol to 300 thousand tons
together with our Malaysia plant

2008

[Worldwide]
Tertiary amine plant expanded at Pilipinas Kao, Inc in the Philippines.

2012

[Japan]
Toner binder plant opened in Wakayama plant.

[Worldwide]
Kao do Brasil Representação Comercial Ltda established in Brazil.
New plants for casting agents go into operation at Huludao Jinxing Casting Materials Co., Ltd in China

2013

[Worldwide]
New plant in P.T.Kao Indonesia Chemicals goes into operation at Karawang consolidating Tambun plants in Indonesia.
The Tambun plant moved and transferred their operation to Karawang until December 2014.
Capacity for fatty alcohol enhanced at Pilipinas Kao, Inc in the Philippines. 

2015

[Worldwide]
New plant established at Kao (Shanghai) Chemical Industries Co.,Ltd. in China

2016

[Japan]
Pigment ink for Inkjet printer goes into operation and sales begins

[Worldwide]
Kao acquires Collins Inkjet Corporation (U.S.) and renamed it Kao Collins Inc.

Fatty acid production company established in Indonesia as a joint venture company.

2017

[Worldwide]
Kao Acquired Chimigraf Holding (Spain) and renamed it Kao Chimigraf

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