WHILE Japanese company Asahi Kasei Chemicals recently held a groundbreaking ceremony in Jurong Island, Singapore, for the first phase of construction of a new plant to produce solution-polymerised styrene-butadiene rubber (SSBR), in China, Keyuan Petrochemicals and Hangzhou Zhongce Rubber will jointly develop commercial applications for SSBR.
Asahi Kasei Chemicals says its new plant in Singapore represents a major step in diversifying its operation base for enhanced stability of supply to meet growing demand and customer needs.
Meanwhile, tyre producer Hangzhou Zhongce says the tyre market, which had sales of US$140 billion in 2010, is the largest user of SSBR today, especially for high gear radials. Both companies expect to gain an advantage by developing commercial applications for SSBR in new markets and capitalising on significant growth opportunities.
Keyuan is working with researchers from Hangzhou Zhongce Rubber to develop SSBR over the next several years. The companies will share the rights to products and technologies developed from this cooperation. Upon successful development of SSBR, Keyuan will be able to produce new products using the same facility of styrene-butadiene-styrene, which the company is building at the moment.