Crain News Service report
LEVERKUSEN, Germany (June 5, 2013) — Lanxess A.G. officially has opened its butyl rubber plant on Jurong Island in Singapore, one of three state-of-the-art facilities the company operates on three different continents.
Lanxess said it has invested approximately $522.6 million in the facility, which produces halobutyl rubber and butyl rubber. About 160 jobs have been created at the facility, which Lanxess calls the most modern of its kind in Asia.
About 400 guests attended the opening ceremony, including Teo Chee Hean, deputy prime minister of Singapore; Angelika Viets, German ambassador to Singapore; and Ron Commander, head of the Lanxess butyl rubber business unit.
The butyl rubber facility began start-up earlier this year, and production has increased gradually since then. Lanxess expects the facility to achieve full capacity of 100,000 metric tons in 2015.
"This is the largest investment in the company's history and underlines the importance of Asia as a location for our synthetic rubber business," said Axel C. Heitmann, Lanxess' chairman of the board of management. "We have clearly built this plant with the future of mobility in mind because we think and act long-term."
Lanxess said about 10 percent of its investment went toward technology that allows the plant to produce butyl rubber more environmentally efficient. The company operates butyl rubber plants in Sarnia, Canada, and Zwijndrecht, Belgium.
Lanxess said the butyl rubber market is expected to grow on average by 5 percent in the coming years, with demand in Asia leading the way. According to the company, the tire industry accounts for around three-fourths of its butyl rubber sales, and more than 50 percent of sales is generated in Asia.
Other applications for Lanxess' butyl rubber are in pharmaceutical closures, protective clothes, shoe soles, adhesives and chewing gum.
This report appeared in Rubber & Plastics News, an Akron-based sister publication of Tire Business.