Dow Moves to Maintain Long-Term Supply of SSBR
The world’s second largest chemical manufacturer, Dow Chemical Co., announced on June 11 that construction had begun on a new facility for producing Solution Styrene Butadiene Rubber (SSBR). This facility, located in the central German town of Schkopau, is scheduled for completion in the second half of 2008 and will have a production capacity of 60 kilotonnes.
SSBR is a key component in the manufacture of high-performance tyres, and according to Dow the substance is the rubber market’s fastest growing segment, with anticipated annual growth of five to six per cent over the next few years. To assure a continuing and cost-effective supply of the key raw components of SSBR – butadiene and styrene – Dow has invested in securing its own providers of these materials.
“The construction of our new facility underscores Dow’s commitment to advancing its Solution SBR technology for tyre applications, particularly in the high performance segment where we offer our customers a differentiated product portfolio providing superior performance characteristics with respect to low rolling resistance, high grip and durability,” said Craig Arnold, global business director for Synthetic Rubber at Dow.
Mr. Arnold added that the dynamics of the market pointed towards continued healthy demand for SSBR, and Dow sees the addition of this new facility as a necessary step to ensure the company can meet customer needs well into the future.