By David Shaw, ERJ staff
Milan, Italy - Versalis, the re-named ENI subsidiary, is to add capacity for EPDM, solution-SBR (S-SBR) and styrenic block co-polymers (SBCs) in the next 4 years.
As reported a week ago, the company announced a euro 500 million investment in its elastomers activity last week at the Plast event. In an exclusive response to ERJ, the company has added more detail to its plans.
Key aspects of the plans include a euro 135 million project to add EPDM capacity at the plant in Ferrara, Italy; a euro 350-million project to add S-SBR and SBCs at the Ravenna plant and a euro 50-million project to increase capacity for S-SBR at the UK plant in Grangemouth. Versalis had not given capacity details as we went to press.
The company said it is not expecting to make acquisitions in the elastomers business, but did not rule out such a move, if the right opportunity arises.
In Asia, Versalis expects to form a joint venture in the butadiene segment, and to licence technology from an unidentified partner in Asia. The company added in a statement, â€œThis development concerns specific areas such as Asia. Versalis, hence, has identified those markets and plans to strength its presence in these areas through the use of proprietary technologies and patents.â€
The statement continued, â€œVersalis plans to be a global player, able to meet the growing appetite for rubber of the tyre industry with capacity and ability to meet the demand of new grades through innovation. In particular for the tyre industry Versalis R&D will work to produce new S-SBR grades and innovative IR rubbers polymers to meet ever changing supply pattern of the industry.â€