Synthos looking for greenfield S-SBR investments

16 December 2008 18:19  [Source: ICIS news]

PRAGUE (ICIS news)--Synthos is preparing greenfield investments in solution styrene-butadiene rubber (S-SBR) and polybutadiene rubber (PBR), the Polish synthetic rubber company said on Tuesday.

The producer recently abandoned a bid for an undisclosed S-SBR production facility in western Europe citing the recession-hit car and truck markets and the seller's proposed “disadvantageous conditions”.

“The greenfield investment projects in PBR and S-SBR will constitute a reasonable alternative to acquisition. Investment projects are currently being intensely prepared,” read a statement released by Tomasz Kosowski, a senior specialist in Synthos' strategic planning department.

Kosowski reacted after Erste Group bank commented on the decision not to press ahead with the acquisition by saying that “Synthos' failure to enter the SSBR market, which is more advanced and is slowly replacing the current emulsion synthetic rubber (e-SBR) produced by Synthos, is not good for the company in the long run”.

Synthos has a licence from Michelin that enables it to produce 80,000 tonnes/year of PBR using Michelin neodymium catalyst technology.

Such PBR represents the latest generation of rubber used in tyre production, Synthos said. The PBR production line should be online in 2011, it added. More details about the planned S-SBR unit were not yet available.

Erste said the facility Synthos decided not to acquire was most likely a 40,000 tonne/year S-SBR unit operated by Michelin in Bassens, in France’s Bordeaux region.

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By: Will Conroy
+44 20 8652 3214



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