SHANGHAI, China — Chinese tire maker Sailun Group Co. Ltd. has unveiled plans to establish a "functional new materials" group designed to improve the efficiency of tire production within the group.
Sailun — considered the world's No. 17 tire maker — has earmarked $345 million for the Qingdao Dongjiakou materials project, which will have a rated annual capacity of 500,000 metric tons of functional new materials once fully on stream.
In the first phase, the project will manufacture 200,000 tons of new materials, which will be based on the company's "liquid gold" liquid-phase rubber-mixing process, Sailun in a filing with the Shanghai Stock Exchange.
The new plant will be constructed at the Dongjiakou Chemical Industry Park and is expected to take 36 months to complete, Sailun said. Dongjiakou is a coastal port town about 25 miles south of Qingdao.
Sailun Group recently disclosed plans to build a passenger, truck and OTR tire plant in Dongjiakou in a five-phase project valued at $2.25 billion.
The first phase of the rubber-mixing project, budgeted at $165 million, is expected to be completed in 18 months.
As part of the project, Sailun said it will set up a wholly owned subsidiary named Qingdao Sailun New Materials to oversee research and development, promote new material technology and handle production and sales of new materials based on liquid-phase rubber.
Sailun has previously announced that tires made from the "liquid gold" material developed by the company can be adapted to new energy vehicles, and have greatly improved wet grip, rolling resistance and wear resistance.