Berwyn, Pennsylvania – Trinseo has hit a milestone production record at its Schkopau solution elastomer plant, Germany, producing 1 million tonnes of Solution Styrene-Butadiene Rubber (SSBR) since the single train production began in 2000.
According to an 11 May statement by Trinseo, production at the site increased “greatly” in the last four years, driven “directly by customer demand”.
The demand, said Trinseo, is fuelled by sustainability trends around the world.
“As CO₂ emissions regulations and tire labelling requirements continue to expand globally, there is a strong incentive for the automotive industry to adopt energy efficient tires,” the materials supplier explained.
Another contributing factor is awareness by consumers about the fuel efficiency of their cars.
This consumer focus, said Trinseo, is driving energy efficient tires as one of the most important trends in sustainability globally.
Technology improvement and increasing production process stability was also an important contributor, Trinseo added.
“There has been a tremendous cross-functional collaboration between operations, maintenance, supply chain management, R&D and tech center… which has brought us to the landmark million,” said Ralf Schneider, production leader for SSBR/ Li-BR, synthetic rubber.
Trinseo announced in October last year that it is expanding SSBR production capacity in Germany in response to rising demand for the material in high performance tires.
The production facility in Schkopau, Germany will go through an asset upgrade to add an extra 50 kilotonne per annum (ktpa) of SSBR capacity by January 2018.
“This investment is in line with Trinseo’s strategy to grow our Performance Materials businesses, in particular our SSBR business, which has seen very strong market demand,” said Hayati Yarkadas, senior vice president and business president, Performance Materials.
This expansion, he added, is the “fastest solution to meet our customers’ growing demand for our Sprintan rubber products, as well as next generation development grades of advanced SSBR.”