LANXESS on track to build polybutadiene rubber plant in Singapore

23 May 2012 10:20  [Source: ICIS news]

SINGAPORE (ICIS)--German producer LANXESS is keeping with its schedule to start building a 140,000 tonne/year neodymium polybutadiene rubber (Nd-PBR) plant in Singapore this September, a company executive said on Wednesday.

The plant, which is estimated to cost €200m ($253m), is expected to be completed in the first half of 2015, Ron Commander, global head for the butyl rubber business unit at LANXESS, told delegates at the World Rubber Summit being held in Singapore.

The new unit, which would be the world’s largest Nd-PBR plant, will be located in Jurong Island - the same site as the company’s 100,000 tonne/year butyl rubber plant that is currently under construction.

The butyl rubber plant is expected to come on stream in the first quarter of 2013.

LANXESS is currently one of the world’s leading suppliers of butyl rubber, producing more than 800,000 tonnes/year of performance butadiene rubber, Commander said.

Earlier this month LANXESS increased capacity of its plant in Zwijndrecht, Belgium, by 10% to 150,000 tonne/year after spending more than €20m on the expansion, he said.

Synthetic rubbers are used as raw materials in the production of tyres for automobiles.

“There is a very bright future for synthetic rubber,” Commander said, citing that future demand for high performance tyres will increase as governments legislate to control carbon dioxide emissions and reduce fuel consumption.

Citing a study by economic forecasting firm Global Insight, Commander said that the world’s vehicle population is expected to triple to 3bn by 2035, and will create a market for “green tyres”. It is estimated that the use of green tyres in vehicles can translate to 5-7% in fuel savings.

“The so-called green tyres are [the] future of our industry,” he said.

“Green tyres” use up less fuel, perform better under wet conditions and are durable.

The World Rubber Summit runs from 22-24 May.

($1 = €0.79)


By: Tahir Ikram
+65 6780 4359



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