Yokohama to Build JV Rubber Processing Factory in Thailand
On November 12 Yokohama Rubber announced its intention to cooperate with Teck Fu Joint Venture Co., Ltd. to build a joint-venture natural rubber processing factory in southern Thailand’s Surat Thani Province. Teck Fu is a subsidiary company of Teck Bee Hang Co., Ltd., a natural rubber processing company in Thailand. Yokohama Rubber’s decision to operate its own factory stems from its aim for an assured stable supply and quality of natural rubber, the company says.
On September 3, 2008, the joint venture, to be known as Y. T. Rubber Co., Ltd., completed its establishment with 95 per cent investment from Yokohama Rubber and five per cent from Teck Fu Joint Venture. The joint venture company is capitalised at 100 million baht (£1.85 million), and one billion yen (£6.57 million) is earmarked for the construction of the new factory, which has a planned monthly production capacity of 3,000 tons. Building work will start in January 2009 with the scheduled start of operation the following October.
Yokohama Rubber mainly purchases natural rubber from Thailand and Indonesia, and Teck Bee Hang has been one of the largest Thai based suppliers the company. However, Teck Bee Hang’s natural rubber processing factory, although it supplies mainly to Yokohama Rubber, has been considered uncertain in terms of supply stability because of its insecure location near the Malaysian boarder area. Yokohama says that the new factory location, Surat Thani, with its greater public security, is expected to relieve this concern.
The demand for natural rubber has been increasing year after year, comments Yokohama, and a higher quality natural rubber is required to develop high performance tyres. The joint venture is expected to provide the tyremaker with several advantages: to achieve high-precision natural rubber processing techniques, stable quality, physical property and quality control ability, and the ability to develop high performance tyres with an increased mixing rate of natural rubber.