Price and market trends: LANXESS supplying rubber from Singapore amid Belgium strike

28 March 2014 09:45 Source:ICIS Chemical Business

LANXESS is compensating for the absence of butyl rubber (BTR) production at its Zwijndrecht, Belgium, site with supplies from its Singapore plant during a strike at the European facility, the company’s CFO said on 20 March.

 LANXESS is supplying Europe from its Singapore plant

Copyright: LANXESS

The impact of the strike, which has been ongoing for three weeks, is currently in the single digit million euros, but the sum could enter the teens if it continues to run, according to LANXESS CFO Bernhard Duettmann.

The plant is not likely to be back online before the end of March, due to the time necessary to bring it back onstream even if an agreement were reached in the near future, he added.

The strike concerns negotiations around the biannual collective labour agreement on payment and working conditions for employees at the site, according to a company spokesman.

Rejected Agreement
A draft agreement for labourers at the 150,000 tonne/year site was signed by LANXESS Rubber NV management and Zwijndrecht union representatives 
but was later rejected, leading to a strike.

Production is currently at a total standstill, he added.

“Currently, we cannot predict how long the strike will last. So far, another meeting has not been scheduled,” he said.

The Jurong Island, Singapore BTR facility has a capacity of 100,000 tonne/year, and LANXESS’s other BTR site in Sarnia, Canada, has a capacity of 135,000 tonnes/year, according to ICIS data.

By Tom Brown