Industry News

LANXESS reduces production for Butyl Rubber

Published on 2009-01-19. Author : SpecialChem

Leverkusen -- Specialty chemicals group LANXESS AG has decided to reduce production of butyl rubber at its plants in Sarnia, Canada, and Zwijndrecht, Belgium, due to a decline in demand for the product.

In the coming months, the plants belonging to the Business Unit Butyl Rubber (BTR) will either be operating at reduced capacity levels or will be temporarily shut down for several weeks, which will allow for routine maintenance work. About 360 employees in total are affected by the measures. Flexible working time arrangements for the employees, such as reduction of overtime and use of annual vacation, will be implemented in Canada. Employees in Belgium will be put on short-time working.

"These measures underline our commitment to reduce costs and control inventory levels," said Ron Commander, Head of the Butyl Rubber business unit. "We have also taken steps to ensure our customers will still have an uninterrupted supply of high-quality products."

In response to the global economic crisis, LANXESS already announced last month its decision to postpone groundbreaking of the new butyl rubber plant in Singapore from January 2009 to the fall. The plant is expected to begin production in 2012.

The Butyl Rubber business unit is one of the leading producers of synthetic rubber, with annual sales of over EUR 500 million, and is part of the Performance Polymers segment. The segment recorded sales of EUR 2.539 billion in the first nine months of 2008.

LANXESS offers a range of butyl rubbers that consists of three product families - regular butyl, bromobutyl and chlorobutyl rubber. Only a very few manufacturers worldwide have mastered the production of the latter two, often referred to as halobutyl rubber. The most important market for halobutyl rubbers is the tire industry - it uses these rubber raw materials to make gas-tight inner liners in tubeless tires for cars, trucks and buses.

LANXESS is a leader in specialty chemicals with sales in 2007 of EUR 6.61 billion and currently around 15,000 employees in 21 countries. The company is represented at 44 production sites worldwide. The core business of LANXESS is the development, manufacture and sale of plastics, rubber, intermediates and specialty chemicals.

Forward-Looking Statements

This news release contains forward-looking statements based on current assumptions and forecasts made by LANXESS AG management. Various known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors could lead to material differences between the actual future results, financial situation, development or performance of the company and the estimates given here. The company assumes no liability whatsoever to update these forward-looking statements or to conform them to future events or developments.


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