Arlanxeo investing in rubber sites in Brazil and France

August 9, 2018

ARLANXEO-Netherlands-headquartered synthetic rubber firm Arlanxeo says it is strengthening its position as the world’s leading manufacturer of synthetic rubber with an investment in EUR mid double-digit million to modernise its production sites in Triunfo, Brazil and La Wantzenau, France.

In Brazil, the firm is investing in its facility in Triunfo, Rio Grande do Sul, to make the production of polybutadiene rubber (PBR) more flexible. Currently emulsion styrene-butadiene rubber (E-SBR), which is mainly used in car and truck tyres, is produced there. As a result of the upgrade, the company will also be able to produce the more advanced PBR types Nd-BR (neodymium butadiene rubber) and lithium butadiene rubber (Li-BR) for tyre and non-tyre applications in Triunfo in the second half of 2020. This follows the growing need of the local tyre manufacturers for high performance tyres.

At the same time, it is relocating part of its existing E-SBR production in Triunfo to its facility in Duque de Caxias, Rio de Janeiro, where E-SBR is already produced. This should allow for better economics going forward.

Demand in Brazil for high-performance rubbers for tyres continues to grow, supported by the tyre labelling regulation, similar to laws that are already in place in the European Union, Japan, and South Korea, for example. All new tyres produced in Brazil must be rated with respect to their rolling resistance, grip on wet track, and external noise. The use of Nd-BR in tyres significantly improves tire performance, resulting in lower fuel consumption and better wet grip, among other benefits.

Polybutadiene rubbers under the brand name Buna are primarily used in the tread and sidewalls of tyres as well as to modify plastics in the production of HIPS (high impact polystyrene) for injection moulding applications. Other areas of application include golf balls, running shoes, and conveyor belts.

In addition to the regular maintenance investments, Arlanxeo is modernising its production site in La Wantzenau, France, the world’s largest nitrile butadiene rubber (NBR) facility.

Arlanxeo expects global demand for high-quality NBR rubbers to increase in the coming years. The focus here is on growth in traditional business areas and new applications, some of which have been developed with customers, but also the use of NBR as a raw material for the production of the company’s Therban (HNBR) specialty products.

The NBR synthetic rubber produced in La Wantzenau is sold under the Perbunan, Krynac, and Baymod N brands. It is used in the production of cables, seals, hoses, blankets, and soles for safety and athletic shoes, among other uses. The most important markets are the automotive industry, the construction sector, as well as oil and gas production and processing.

Arlanxeo produces polybutadiene rubber at three sites in Brazil: Duque de Caxias (Rio de Janeiro), Triunfo (Rio Grande do Sul), and Cabo de Santo Agostinho (Pernambuco). In addition, the company also produces ethylene propylene diene monomer rubber (EPDM) in Triunfo. Duque de Caxias is also the location of its Brazilian headquarters. The company also operates a sales and marketing office in São Paulo. Its global network for polybutadiene rubbers also includes production facilities in Dormagen, Germany; Port Jérôme, France; Orange, Texas, US; and Singapore.

As for NBR, in addition to the production facility in La Wantzenau, Arlanxeo also produces NBR rubber in a joint venture with TSRC in Nantong, China.

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(Last Updated: 10 Dec 2018)

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