East West joins IISRP after Baton Rouge plant takeover
ERJ staff report (PR)
Kyoto, Japan – The International Institute of Synthetic Rubber Producers, Inc. (IISRP) has elected East West Copolymer LLC as the newest producer member of the industry trade association in the Americas.
Greg Nelson, president and CEO of East West announced plans to join the Institute at the IISRP’s Annual General Meeting in Kyoto, Japan. The company restarted the former Lion Copolymer’s 115 kilotonne-per-annum emulsion plant in March. The facility is also a swing plant, capable of producing NBR (nitrile rubber).
“We are delighted to have Greg and his team back into the IISRP and to once again see the Baton Rouge site up and running,” said James McGraw, managing director & CEO of the IISRP said in a 21 May press statement.
East West, which completed the purchase of the US operation last month, had been operating the SBR (styrene-butadiene rubber ) businesses since February under a temporary operating agreement.
This followed a decision to halt production at Baton Rouge in late 2013: the former owner citing “declining market conditions for domestically produced replacement tires and conveyor belting, global over-capacity of SBR supply and volatility in key raw materials.”
Established by the US government during World War II, the Baton Rouge plant was one of the world’s first commercial synthetic rubber facilities. Formerly known as Copolymer Rubber and Chemical Corp. and then later as DSM Copolymer, the facility is credited with pioneering the continuous, cold-rubber emulsion SBR process and carbon black masterbatches.