By Cameron Chai
LANXESS has announced an investment of €200 million (about SGD 340 million) in a new neodymium polybutadiene rubber (Nd-PBR) plant with a capacity of 140,000 metric tons per annum in Singapore.
(L-R) Mr Holger Hüppeler , Head of Procurement and Logistics of LANXESS AG, Dr. Joachim Grub, Head of Performance Butadiene Rubbers business unit of LANXESS AG, Mr Lim Kong Puay, President and CEO of Tuas Power Ltd, Dr. Axel Heitmann, Chairman of LANXESS AG, Mr Akira Yonemura, Managing Director of Petrochemical Corporation of Singapore and Dr. Werner Breuers, Board of Management of LANXESS AG at the contract exchange ceremony.
The company is set to break ground for the plant on the 11 September 2012. It is the company’s second largest investment project which will cater to the growing demand for “Green Tires” in Asia.
Megatrend mobility is driving the demand for “Green Tires” and LANXESS is a major provider of Nd-PBR which is used in these tires. Nd-PBR resists abrasion, reduces rolling resistance, and increases fuel efficiency, durability and safety of tires. It is used inthe sidewalls and treads of “Green Tires.” The global growth rate of these tires is10%, and in Asia it is 14%. Tire labeling which is being introduced in many countries will also fuel the demand for green tires. The labeling will signify the importance of “Green Tires”. These tires can help Singapore save 140 million liters of fuel and 352,600 tons of CO2 every year.
Axel C. Heitmann, Chairman of the Board of Management at LANXESS, Akira Yonemura, Managing Director of Petrochemical Corporation of Singapore (PCS), Lim Kong Puay, President and CEO of Tuas Power and Director of TP Utilities, and other members of LANXESS met on March 1 to sign key supply contracts for the new Nd-PBR plant.
LANXESS requires butadiene as raw material for production of Nd-PBR. PCS has agreed to supply the material and is constructing a new butadiene extraction plant. TP Utilities, a unit of Tuas Power, has signed an agreement to supply steam to the Nd-PBR plant for a period of 10 years. TP Utilities has a biomass-clean coal cogeneration plant with an electricity generation capacity of 100 MW and steam capacity of 500 TPH. It is augmenting its steam capacity with an additional 650 TPH.
The new Nd-PBR plant is located in the Jurong Island Chemical Park, next to LANXESS’ butyl rubber plant, which is under construction and is expected to go into production in 2013.