Tokyo – Asahi Kasei is set to start up an expansion of its solution-styrene butadiene rubber (SSBR) production in Singapore in January 2019, the company has announced.
In its 2018 report published 2 Nov, the Japanese materials supplier said in strengthening its high value-added businesses, emphasis was placed on the automotive field, including SSBR and engineering plastics to replace metal for weight reduction.
“Tire labelling requirements in various countries are bolstering demand for SSBR, which enhances tire performance through our unique polymer design technology,” the company said.
In July last year, Asahi Kasei announced plans to increase SSBR capacity at its plant in Jurong Island, Singapore, by 30% to 130 kilotonnes per annum.
At the time, the company said SSBR was a key strategic business in its 'Tomorrow 2018' medium-term management initiative. The goal, said Asahi Kasei, was to make the company the “world’s number 1 SSBR supplier” by 2020.
According to Asahi Kasei, demand for tires with enhanced fuel-efficiency has been growing while tire production in emerging countries is increasing in line with greater motorisation.
Asahi Kasei has SSBR plants in Japan – Kanagawa and Oita prefectures – and Singapore.
The Singapore plant began operation in 2013 and produces the company’s latest high-performance grades.
In March, the Japanese company told ERJ that it was considering Europe as a “very strong candidate” for the location of its next solution styrene-butadiene rubber (SSBR) plant.