ERJ staff report (DS)
Leverkusen, Germany -- Lanxess AG has announced three new investments in Brazil, worth a total of euro 30 million. Two are in plastics, while the other is a new plant in Porto Feliz to produce the rubber additives Rhenogran as well as Rhenoshape curing bladders.
Rhenogran pre-dispersed rubber additives can significantly improve the quality and durability of a rubber product, while Rhenoshape bladders are used by the tire industry to give tires their final shape and properties. The plant will be run by Lanxess' subsidiary, Rhein Chemie, based in Mannheim, Germany. It will have an output of 2,000 metric tons per year of rubber additives and produce 170,000 bladders per year. The plant will start in the fourth quarter of 2012.
In addition to this new announcement, Lanxess has previously said it will produce EPDM rubber from bio-based ethylene. The Brazilian company, Braskem S.A., will supply the ethylene, derived from sugarcane, by pipeline as of November 2011. This represents the world's first production of bio-based EPDM rubber which will be named Keltan Eco. A quarter of the 40,000 metric tons annual capacity at the Triunfo plant is earmarked for Keltan Eco.
The company is also adding capacity at the former Petroflex plant for neodymium polybutadiene rubber (Nd-PBR) in Cabo de Santo Agostinho, Pernambuco. It will complete the expansion by the end of 2011, doubling capacity to 40,000 metric tons per year.The plant has also been upgraded to use the same process and technology used at Lanxess' Nd-PBR plants in Germany and the USA.
At the same time, Lanxess has started a feasibility study to convert the Triunfo SBR factory to the solution process away from the older emulsion process. The current capacity for ESBR in Triunfo is 110,000 metric tons per year and the switch would potentially require a medium-size, double-digit million EUR amount. A final decision will be made mid-2012.
In recognition of its commitment to green mobility in Brazil, lanxess will tomorrow (6 October) host the first Brazil Automotive Day in SÃ£o Paulo - an all-day conference featuring many of the leaders of the automotive and tire industries of Brazil and Latin America. 400 people will attend the event.
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Press release from Lanxess