Cologne, Germany – The closure of Lanxess’ EPDM production plat in Marl, Germany is progressing as planned, according to the firm.
“The production in Marl will end at the end of the first quarter of 2016 and Lanxess has developed and prepared EPDM alternatives from other production locations to support a successful transition,” the German specility chemicals company said in a written statement to ERJ.
Lanxess had to delay the closure from end of 2015 to first quarter 2016 in a bid to allow its customer adjust to rubber types supplied by other sites.
According to the statement, 11 similar EPDM grades have now been developed and the majority is available from the company’s plant in Geleen, The Netherlands, to be supplied to customers.
“The customers are offered full support from our global sales and technical professionals,” the company added.
As for the 160 kilotonne-per-annum (kpta) Changzhou, China, EPDM plant which came on-stream in 2015, the company said that production at the site was being ramped up gradually over time depending on customer demand.
“The customer validation process is progressing well,” the statement added.
“EPDM for customers in China was largely produced in Europe; but since the opening of our plant in Changzhou a big portion of the products for Chinese and Asian customers is produced locally in China,” it added.
Lanxess also inaugurated a 140kpta neodymium butadiene rubber (Nd-BR) plant in Singapore in August 2015, which it said is being ramped up gradually too.
Lanxess said the ramping-up would be in line with demand in the Asian tire market, which it said was aiming to achieve high global standards and therefore “fueling Nd-BR demand growth on the back of mobility trends focused on fuel-efficiency”.
“In fact, efficiency labelling for automotive tires is being adopted in more places around the world (e.g. South Korea, Japan), which leads to the gradual substitution of general purpose rubber by high performance rubbers such as Nd-BR,” the company stated.
In this context, it concluded, our Nd-BR plant in Singapore acts as an “ideal gateway to Asian markets”.