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LANXESS Kick-starts Neodymium Butadiene Rubber Plant in Singapore

Published on 2015-09-04. Author : SpecialChem

SINGAPORE -- Specialty chemicals company LANXESS officially inaugurated its new neodymium butadiene rubber (Nd-BR) plant in Singapore. Located next to LANXESS’ existing butyl rubber plant on Jurong Island, the world-scale facility represents an investment of approximately EUR 200 million (SGD 314 million). With an annual production capacity of 140,000 metric tons, the plant has generated roughly 100 highly skilled jobs, which have largely been filled by local residents. Production will be ramped up gradually. The facility will produce Nd-BR for global markets, with an emphasis on the growing Asian markets.

LANXESS
Fig. 1: LANXESS

The Asia-Pacific region accounts for about a quarter of LANXESS’ sales and is home to key growth markets tied to megatrends involving mobility and urbanization. LANXESS is a major solutions provider for these megatrends.

“Together with our adjacent butyl rubber plant, the opening of this new butadiene rubber plant reinforces the strategic role of Singapore as our hub for synthetic rubber production for the Asian markets,” said Matthias Zachert, Chairman of the Board of Management of LANXESS AG, at the opening ceremony.

The close proximity of LANXESS’ two synthetic rubber production sites on Jurong Island has enabled shared infrastructure and logistics, resulting in exceptionally lean and efficient operations.

Among the attendees at the event was Lim Hng Kiang, Singapore’s Minister for Trade and Industry.

“This new investment by LANXESS, which comes shortly after its butyl rubber plant in 2013, reiterates the confidence LANXESS has in Singapore as a strategic base to chart their growth in the region,” said Damian Chan, Executive Director, Energy and Chemicals of the Singapore Economic Development Board. “The synthetic rubber project is part of Singapore’s strategy to grow chemical chains from the higher olefins produced by our petrochemical crackers. This will enhance the value and resilience of our chemicals industry.”

A global production network for high-performance rubber

The new plant in Singapore is LANXESS’ first Nd-BR site in Asia, and joins the nine additional production facilities operated by the company’s Tire & Specialty Rubber (TSR) business unit in North and South America and Europe. In addition to Nd-BR, the business unit produces other varieties of butadiene rubber, including solution styrene-butadiene rubber (S-SBR) and several types of butyl rubber.

“This latest facility is the culmination of the best technologies and practices from our other production sites. Now, with our truly global production footprint, we are exceptionally well positioned to serve the tire industry and other customer industries worldwide,” said Jorge Nogueira, Head of the TSR business unit.

Nd-BR serves growing demand for new mobility solutions

Nd-BR is the most advanced butadiene rubber. It serves a vital function in tire walls and treads, increasing fuel efficiency and enabling ‘green’ tires. It also reduces tire abrasion, which means it can be used to make cars safer as well as more economical. The use of Nd-BR makes it possible to produce tires that offer low rolling resistance and a high level of durability and safety.

A practical tire test carried out by LANXESS together with a global chemical logistics provider demonstrated that “green” tires can reduce the fuel consumption of trucks by 8.5 percent. Another test conducted jointly with RheinEnergie, a German energy provider, has shown that “green” tires can reduce the fuel consumption of passenger vehicles by as much as 7 percent in urban traffic.

In addition to its use in the manufacture of high-performance tires, Nd-BR also plays a part in improving the performance of golf balls, running shoes and conveyor belts.

About LANXESS

LANXESS is among leading specialty chemicals companies with sales of EUR 8.0 billion in 2014 and about 16,300 employees in 29 countries. The company is currently represented at 52 production sites worldwide. The core business of LANXESS is the development, manufacturing and marketing of plastics, rubber, intermediates and specialty chemicals. LANXESS is a member of the leading sustainability indices Dow Jones Sustainability Index (DJSI World and DJSI Europe) and FTSE4Good.

Source: LANXESS

 


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