Budapest – Hungarian energy and petrochemicals group MOL and JSR Corp. of Japan have jointly inaugurated a solution styrene butadiene rubber (SSBR) plant in Tiszaújváros, Hungary.
The plant has a capacity to produce 60 kilotonnes per annum (ktpa) of SSBR and will create 100 jobs, said a 19 March statement from MOL.
The €300-million project, in which MOL holds a 49% stake with the remaining 51% owned by JSR, was originally scheduled to be completed by the end of 2017.
The facility will be fed by the nearby MOL 130ktpa butadiene production plant, which was commissioned in November 2015.
Around 40ktpa of output from this facility will go to the new SSBR plant, company officials explained. The rest of the butadiene capacity will be sold mostly to European markets.
SSBR is currently finding strong demand among tire makers, which use the material in the manufacture of low-rolling resistance tires.
This has driven a spate of new-capacity projects by SSBR suppliers, including Trinseo, Asahi Kasei, Sumitomo Chemical and Zeon Corp, who are seeking to advance their position in this fast-growing market.
The rubber plant is part of MOL’s 2030 strategy, which aims to expand the company’s petrochemicals value-chain and increase offerings for various industries, including the automotive.
The Hungarian group has envisaged a $4.5-billion budget until the end of the next decade for petrochemicals and chemicals growth projects.