TOKYO (Dec. 28, 2005) — Bridgestone Corp. will spend $100 million over the coming 24 to 30 months to build a synthetic rubber plant in Huizhou, China, primarily to serve its own tire plants in China and Asia.
Bridgestone has established Bridgestone (Huizhou) Synthetic Rubber Co. Ltd. to operate the plant, which should come on stream in the first half of 2008 with annual production capacity of 50,000 metric tons. Bridgestone will make styrene-butadiene rubber (SBR) at the plant using technology from Japan's JSR Corp.
Bridgestone, which already makes synthetic rubber at two plants in the U.S., said the decision to build a synthetic rubber plant for China and Asia in line with an expected surge in demand in those areas and is in line with its strategy to expand in-house supply of strategic raw materials.
The project was announced following approval for it from Huizhou city officials, Bridgestone said. The plant will be built in Huizhou's Dayawan Economic and Technological Development Zone in Guangdong Province.
This project is in addition to more than $360 million Bridgestone has committed through 2007 to enhance its raw materials supply situation. Included in that are the recent purchases of Goodyear's natural rubber plantation in Indonesia, a new carbon black plant in Thailand, two steel cord factories in China and expansions of steel cord capacity in Japan and the U.S.