THAILAND played host to the first ever Rubber Technology Expo 2012, held at the Bangkok International Trade & Exhibition Centre (BITEC) from 8-10 March. There certainly appears to be a global megatrend leaning towards environmental consciousness and sustainability and the showcase of materials related to this at the show proves that Southeast Asia is no stranger to the eco-debate.
Green theme at the show
One major theme that was evident at the expo is the move towards creating technologies and products that
are efficient and environmentally sustainable. With legislators passing laws requiring tyre manufacturers to
be more stringent in their quality assessments as well as consumers being more environmentally conscious, it
was evident that rubber and tyre companies are pushing the envelope to create products and processes that will meet the standards set by legislators and consumers. For example, German speciality chemicals company, Lanxess, took the opportunity to showcase its neodymium polybutadiene rubber (Nd-PBR) for “green” tyres. Ethan Sigler, Marketing Manager for India and Southeast Asia, Butyl Rubber and Performance Butadiene Rubber (BTR), said, “We see that there is a high awareness of the green movement in Thailand and we see that the business community is already beginning to embrace the position of zero carbon emissions.”
Catering to the “boom” for green tyres Come September this year, Lanxess will break ground on its 140,000 tonne/year-Nd-PBR plant in Singapore. The EUR200 million facility will be built in Jurong Island, adjacent to the company’s EUR400 million butyl rubber plant (to come on stream in 2013), and is expected to start up in 2015. The company has firmed up a long-term supply agreement for butadiene with Petrochemical Corporation of Singapore (PCS), which is building a new butadiene extraction unit and associated infrastructure necessary to supply the raw
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