Synthos targets roll out of rubber plants across central and East Europe

26 June 2012 17:16  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS)--Europe’s second largest synthetic rubber producer Synthos wants to place more rubber plants across central and eastern Europe (CEE), the Polish company said on Tuesday.

Synthos, which had zlotych (Zl) 1.15bn ($337m, €270.0m) of cash on its balance sheet at the end of the first quarter, having enjoyed an extended bull run in synthetic rubber sales over the past two years, said the investments would be made in countries other than Poland and the Czech Republic, where its current operations are located.

The projects would be approximately similar in cost and scope to plants built and planned recently, Synthos said.

The company has already revealed plans to build a Zl 260m, 100.000 tone/year solution styrene butadiene rubber (S-SBR) plant in the Krakow special economic zone in southern Poland. Due on-line in 2015 it will use Goodyear-licensed technology.

Synthos started a €100m, 80,000 tonne/year plant to produce high performance neodymium-polybutadiene rubber (Nd-PBR), in Oswiecim, southern Poland, in the third quarter of last year. That plant uses Michelin technology.

Synthos, and the world’s largest synthetic rubber producer, Germany-based LANXESS, are competitors in the race to capitalise on new EU regulations that demand 'green tyres', made from high-performance rubbers that improve fuel efficiency and reduce noise.

The organic growth offered by such opportunities was central to Synthos' strategy to expand its business in a way that acquisitions - Synthos is bidding to take over a fellow Polish producer, fertilizer, caprolactam and melamine maker Zaklady Azotowe Pulawy (ZAP) - were not, the company said.

Synthos's billionaire owner Michal Solowow has said that given the order of its priorities, the company was keen on acquiring ZAP “but not at any price”.

($1 = €0.80)
($1 = Zl3.41, €1 = Zl4.26)

By: Will Conroy
+44 20 8652 3214

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