LANXESS inaugurates expansion of Belgian butyl rubber plant

03 May 2012 13:53  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS)--LANXESS has inaugurated the expansion of its butyl rubber plant in Zwijndrecht, Belgium, as it looks to meet an expected growth in global demand, the Germany-based producer said on Thursday.

With the expansion, the butyl rubber capacity of the facility increased by 10%, up to 150,000 tonnes/year.

The expansion, which represents an investment of €20m ($26m), was completed at the end of 2011.

“This investment underpins the major role that our butyl rubber production here in Zwijndrecht plays in our global strategy,” said Axel Heitmann, chairman of the board of management at LANXESS.

Butyl rubber is used in tire inner tubes for cars, trucks and bikes, among others; and has special applications in the pharmaceuticals industry.

LANXESS has also built two new pilot plants for the development of production technology for butyl rubber at the same site, although production capacity information was not disclosed.

“These pilot plants represent our large-scale implementation of the new process we are developing. The aim of the new technology is to use fewer resources and thus be more energy-efficient and environmentally friendly,” Heitmann said.

In addition to the expansion in Zwijndrecht, LANXESS is building a new butyl rubber facility on Jurong Island, Singapore, with a capacity of 100,000 tonnes/year. It is expected to start up in the first quarter of 2013.

“In the coming decade, we expect demand to grow further so that the new capacities here in Zwijndrecht and from our upcoming plant in Singapore will be fully absorbed by the market,” said Ron Commander, head of the Butyl Rubber business unit at LANXESS.

LANXESS has another butyl rubber plant in Sarnia, Canada, with a capacity of 150,000 tonnes/year.

($1 = €0.76)

By: Franco Capaldo
+44 (0)20 8652 3214

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