Hanover, Germany – Asahi Kasei considers Europe as a “very strong candidate” for the location of its next solution styrene-butadiene rubber (SSBR) plant, according to Takayuki Nomoto, a senior official of the company.
Following strong growth in recent years, about 30% of Asahi’s SSBR sales are now in Europe, explained Nomoto, managing executive, senior general manager, synthetic rubber division, Performance Polymers SBU at Asahi.
“We have been marketing our products for the past 20 years in Europe and have finally been able to win approvals for our continuous-process, functionalised products,” he said in a 20 Feb interview during Tire Technology Expo.
Approvals with major tire makers, added Nomoto, have come particularly in the last four or five years, increasing Asahi’s market-share to the point where around 28-30% of its SSBR sales are in Europe.
“So, if we look at expansion Europe is a strong candidate, obviously because we have the market base, with rather a large sales base in Europe,” he said. “Also, the competitiveness of butadiene is also an advantage we see when we look at Europe.”
Asahi’s current production footprint comprises two plants in Japan and one in Singapore, Nomoto also pointed out.
Read the full interview about Asahi Kasei's plans in Europe in the March/April issue of European Rubber Journal magazine.