Maastricht, The Netherlands – Arlanxeo is shutting its EPDM plant in Orange, Texas as part of a move to realign global production and supply of the synthetic rubber material.
Scheduled for the second quarter of 2020, the closure will be carried out in “close cooperation with all affected stakeholders, both internally and externally,” Arlanxeo announed 5 Nov.
The Orange facility has capacity to produce about 70 kilotonnes per annum (ktpa) Keltan-branded EPDM and employees around 300 people.
Arlanxeo’s only production site in the US, the Texas operation also produces butadiene rubber (BR) and hydrogenated nitrile butadiene rubber (HNBR).
“Our teams will support our customers in North America, and around the globe, to make their transition to our specifically developed alternative Keltan grades as smooth as possible.” said Chretien Rooijakkers, VP marketing & sales, high performance elastomers.
Arlanxeo did not give further details about the EPDM business realignment, but the company recently announced that it is steadily increasing sales of EPDM sold under Keltan KSA brand.
These grades are being produced in Saudi Arabia by Petro Rabigh – a 50:50 JV between Arlanxeo owner Saudi Aramco and Sumitomo Chemicals.
Arlanxeo is the sole distributor of Aramco’s 50% share of the JV plant’s EPDM output, Rooijakkers explained to ERJ in an interview at the recent K2019 trade fair.
Operational since 2018, the Petro Rabigh EPDM plant has a nameplate capacity of 75ktpa and, said Rooijakkers, has “ramped up according to plan.”
Arlanxeo also operates EPDM production facilities in Geleen, The Netherlands and Changzhou, China, each with nameplate capacities of 160ktpa, as well as a 40kpta unit in Triunfo, Brazil.
The company, then part of Lanxess, closed down a 70ktpa EPDM production unit in Marl, Germany in early 2016.