Sumitomo Chemical to Build S-SBR Plant in Singapore
In future the 270 square mile state of Singapore will be home to no less than three major synthetic rubber production plants following Sumitomo Chemical’s decision to construct a solution styrene-butadiene rubber (S-SBR) facility on Jurong Island. The Japanese firm intends to have the 40,000 tonne per annum capacity plant ready for commercial operation in the fourth quarter of 2013.
Utilisation of S-SBR as a raw material in the manufacture of tyres is growing, and Sumitomo Chemical reports that within Asia, particularly in China, India, and Thailand, tyre manufacturers are planning a succession of capacity expansions that would increase demand for S-SBR is expected to grow in the near term. The chemical manufacturer decided to locate the new plant in Singapore because of its geographic advantage in supplying the growing Asian markets and to ensure a secured stable supply of the raw material butadiene – which Sumitomo Chemical believes may well be in “tight supply” in the years to come. The company can also effectively leverage the easy access it will have to its existing businesses in Singapore.
Sumitomo Chemical’s S-SBR is manufactured using the company’s proprietary manufacturing process technology and it develops high-performance grades with its polymer modification technology, which it says is a key to high performance. This S-SBR, Sumitomo Chemicals adds, has won high praise from its customers in the tyre manufacturing industry both in Japan and overseas for being a highly fuel-efficient tyre material with outstanding abrasion resistance. At present the company operates an S-SBR plant in Japan.