EU 'green tyre' rules to drive up PBR sales - Erste

20 December 2011 15:10  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS)--Rubber producers that have invested in state-of-the-art polybutadiene rubber (PBR) capacity stand ready to benefit from new EU 'green tyre' labelling that will take effect in 2012, Erste Group Bank said on Tuesday.

Poland's Synthos, which in the third quarter of this year started up a new 80,000 tonne/year installation for high performance neodymium-polybutadiene rubber (Nd-PBR), was one company well positioned to benefit, it added.

The EU labelling rules require new tyres to be labelled for fuel efficiency, wet grip and noise performance.

Erste forecast that Synthos, which is gradually ramping up its new plant to full output, should sell around 66,000 tonnes of Nd-PBR in 2012.

Sales of the material should add €60m ($77.9m) to Synthos’s earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) line for the year, it added.

Synthos has also announced it is to construct a 100,000 tonne/year solution styrene butadiene rubber (S-SBR) plant, equipped to switch to PBR production from S-SBR if required, in the Krakow special economic zone in southern Poland by 2015.

Nd-PBR is used in the treads and sidewalls of ‘green tyres’, while S-SBR is mainly used in their tread compound, where it helps to reduce rolling resistance and improve grip, according to the world’s largest synthetic rubber producer, Germany-based LANXESS.

‘Green tyres’ can reach their peak performance with formulations containing both S-SBR and Nd-PBR. 

LANXESS said in August it expected the US, China and Brazil to follow the EU in introducing regulatory action on tyre labelling within the next two to three years.

Global demand for high-performance synthetic rubber should rise 10% year on year in the years ahead, it forecast.

($1 = €0.77)

By: Will Conroy
+44 20 8652 3214

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