Japan's Asahi to run new S-SBR line in Singapore at 100% by Oct

11 July 2013 07:33  [Source: ICIS news]

SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Japan's Asahi Kasei Chemicals Corp will aim to achieve full production capacity at its new 50,000 tonne/year solution-polymerised styrene butadiene rubber (S-SBR) line at Jurong Island in Singapore by October 2013, the company's president said on Thursday.

"We expect full operations to start in October.. the plant is undergoing a validation process since it started up in April, so although mechanically we can already produce at full rate, we need some time to get it fully operational," Yuji Kobayashi, president of Asahi Kasei Chemicals Corp, told ICIS.

The company currently has two buyers for the S-SBR output from the plant, he said, but declined to elaborate further.

The line began commercial production in April this year after its commissioning began in November 2012, according to the company.

S-SBR is used in the production of fuel-efficient, high performance tyres.

The S-SBR plant in Singapore is Asahi Kasei's first outside Japan.

Asahi Kasei Chemicals Corp has already started building a second 50,000 tonne/year S-SBR line at the same site which is expected to begin commercial operations in the second-half of 2015.

Meanwhile, the company has plans to build a second overseas S-SBR plant, with Singapore, China, and the EU among the places being considered, Kobayashi said.

"It [the new plant] needs to make sense economically. There needs to be a steady supply of butadiene (BD)," he said.

"With Singapore, there seems to be utility issues with high costs for power. China with its large market is also being looked at and the EU also cannot be overlooked," Kobayashi added.

Kobayashi was speaking at the sidelines of the company's opening ceremony for the S-SBR plant in Singapore.

By: Nurluqman Suratman

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