ERJ staff report (DS)
Leverkusen, Germany -- Lanxess is to add a total of 50,000 metric tons per annum of neodymium-catalysed polybutadiene rubber (BR) through de-bottlenecking and prrocess standardisation at its plants in Dormagen, Germany, Orange, USA and Cabo, Brazil. The total investment will be around EUR 20 million. A side effect will be extra capacity for Nd-S-SBR which can be made in the same plants and is used in tread compounds.
Nd-BR is used extensively in low rolling resistance tyres around the world. Demand for these materials is increasing as governments legislate for improved fuel economy and the public demand products which are less damaging to the environment. Lanxess said global demand for Nd-BR is expected to grow annually by close to ten percent in the coming years. Without this capacity expansion, there would be a worldwide product shortage for this type of material by 2014, said the company.
Lanxess said the extra capacity will be achieved through standard debottlenecking procedures. At the same time, the company will harmonise production processes and technology at all its rubber plants worldwide. The expansions will also lead to an indirect increase in Solution Styrene Butadiene Rubber (S-SBR) capacities at the company's site in Port JÃ©rÃ´me, France. Additionally Lanxess is adjusting processes at its site in Orange, Texas, to facilitate the production of S-SBR. These rubbers can reduce rolling resistance while also improving grip on wet roads.
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Press release from Lanxess