LANXESS to delay Brazil plant switch from ESBR to SSBR

02 October 2013 21:37  [Source: ICIS news]

CAMPINAS, Brazil (ICIS)--LANXESS will postpone the completion of switching over a Brazilian plant's production to solution styrene butadiene rubber (S-SBR) from emulsion styrene butadiene rubber (E-SBR), the company said on Wednesday.

The Triunfo plant in the state of Rio Grande do Sul was initially scheduled to complete the change in 2014. It has now been postponed to 2016.

E-SBR is used to make conventional tyres, while S-SBR is used for high-performance tyres.

In addition, part of the E-SBR production at Triunfo will be shut down effective on 1 November, according to the company.

LANXESS said it will maintain the regularity of E-SBR supplies to clients through its plants in Duque de Caxias, in the state of Rio de Janeiro, and in Triunfo.

LANXESS attributed the two moves to the need to "adequate itself to the rhythm of domestic demand, as well as [to meet] the excess of E-SBR capacity generated by a big volume of imports".

Polybutadiene rubber (PBR) production, including neodymium-based performance rubber and lithium butadiene rubber, as well as S-SBR, will continue through its Cabo de Agostinho plant in Pernambuco, it said.

"This way, there will be a production capacity enough to meet the totality of Brazilian E-SBR, S-SBR and PBR demand and still export to other countries," it said.

Despite being affected by a big volume of E-SBR imports due to the excess of production in other regions, LANXESS said it is "confident in the Brazilian market".

"Despite the current situation, the mobility sector in Brazil presents robustness in the medium and long terms, impelled by the [original equipment manufacturers], replacement and retreaded tyres markets," said Humberto Lovisi, marketing director at Lanxess Performance Butadiene Rubbers unit in Latin America.

Lanxess hopes to benefit from the Brazilian tyre labelling programme, which should take in October 2016 and will follow European standards.

Brazil has also launched a stimulus package programme for its auto industry, which is aimed to increase the competitiveness and to improve technological development, innovation, safety, environmental protection, energy efficiency and the quality of cars, trucks, buses and auto parts produced in Brazil.

"There's a clear potential in this market, and LANXESS will benefit as the main supplier of high-performance rubber needed to the fabrication of green tyres," said Lovisi.

By: Leo Siqueira
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