Lanxess investing in French tyre rubber facility
Around 30 million euros have been earmarked for productivity and energy efficiency upgrades at the Lanxess high performance rubber facility in Port Jérôme, France, the company announced on 30 May. This investment will be made by 2015, and will support Lanxess’ aim of increasing capacity for rubber grades used in low rolling resistance tyres. The plant, established by Firestone in 1962 by and purchased by Lanxess in 2004, currently produces 140,000 tonnes of neodymium-polybutadiene (Nd-PBR) and solution styrene-butadiene (SSBR) per annum.
“The production of high performance rubbers in Port Jérôme plays a key role in our global strategy. We support global megatrends with our innovations and technologies. A particular focus here is solutions for sustainable mobility,” said Axel C. Heitmann, chairman of the Lanxess AG Board of Management, during an event marking the site’s 50th anniversary.
Lanxess estimates that the market for low rolling resistance or ‘green’ tyres is growing at around ten per cent annually, making it the global tyre industry’s fasting growing segment. The company sees Asia and Latin America as particular drivers of this rising demand, and it also expects increased utilisation of its high performance rubber for the European market as a result of labelling legislation.
“Our high performance rubbers are indispensable for meeting the new legal requirements and satisfying the customer wishes expected to arise from them,” Heitmann added. “As the world’s largest partner to the tyre industry, we have reacted promptly to this trend by making the corresponding strategic investments decisions and expanding our capacities.”