The Hague, The Netherlands – Arlanxeo is closing its 140 kilotonnes-per-annum (ktpa) neodymium polybutadiene rubber plant in Singapore as part of efforts to “optimise resources and capabilities in its global NdBR production network.”
Production operations at the facility will cease by the end of 2020, with the plant to be fully decommissioned by the first quarter of 2021, said Li Birnie, global head of corporate communications at Arlanxeo.
The decision, which has already been shared with stakeholders, is part of a broader global strategy in response to changes in the synthetic rubber industry, the official added in a 19 Oct written statement to ERJ.
“We have taken every measure to minimise the impact of this closure, all affected internal and external stakeholders, such as employees, customers, and suppliers were informed and communicated last month,” said Birnie.
Arlanxeo is committed to supporting its customers, in APAC and globally, continued the statement, adding that it “will fully support all customers for a smooth transition to products manufactured by [its] other NdBR production units.”
Marking an investment of around €200 million, the Singapore NdBR plant was opened by Arlanxeo’s former owner Lanxess AG in August 2015 – in response to increasing demand for the polymer in low rolling-resistance tires.
The NDBR unit is located next to Arlanxeo’s 100ktpa butyl rubber plant on Jurong Island which, the statement emphasised, continues to be an “important strategic location,” for the company.
We will report further on this development and Arlanxeo’s future strategy for the synthetic rubber market in the Nov/Dec issue of European Rubber Journal magazine.