LEVERKUSEN, Germany (June 27, 2007) — German chemical group Lanxess A.G. will build a $540 million butyl rubber plant in Asia, which it hopes to have on-stream by 2010, to serve tire production that “is increasingly shifting from the U.S. and Western Europe to Asia.”
Lanxess is scouting for locations for the plant—which will make both butyl and halobutyl rubber used principally in innerliners—in Singapore; Kuantan; Malaysia; and Map Ta Phut, Thailand.
This would be the largest single investment in Lanxess' history, said Axel Heitmann, Lanxess management board chairman, in a prepared statement.
The company did not comment on the new plant's projected capacity. It will add to Lanxess' existing annual butyl capacity of 265,000 metric tons at plants in Sarnia, Ontario, and Zwijndrecht, Belgium.
When asked why the company did not choose China as the location, a company spokesman said: “The countries that we have chosen are free countries, we therefore believe that we can find the best conditions to produce our product.
“Also China is not far away, so we can still supply our clients there,” he added, in a telephone conversation with Crain News Service.
The plant will belong to the Lanxess Performance Rubber segment, which achieved total sales of $2.23 billion in 2006.