By Liz White, ERJ staff
Tokyo-Asahi Kasei Chemicals Corp. has licensed its synthetic rubber production technology to China Petroleum & Chemical Corp. (Sinopec).
Sinopec will use the technology to build a 100 kilotonnes per annum SR plant in the Shanghai Chemical Industry Park, scheduled for start-up in 2006.
Asahi Kasei described the agreement as â€œa milestone in a developing and growing relationship between the two companies,â€ and said they will â€œcontinue to explore further opportunities for commercial collaboration.â€
The Japanese firm said its SR production technology-based on a solution-polymerisation process originally licensed from Firestone Polymers llc-can be used to make SR suitable for â€œhigh-end tyresâ€ and as an impact modifier in the polystyrene used, for example, for personal computer housings.
Such materials are currently in high demand in China, which is why Sinopec is building the new solution-polymerised SR plant, the Asahi Kasei statement added.