Ekoprena enters commercial production
At the end of February, commercial production of Ekoprena began in Malaysia. Currently one company, Felda Rubber Industries, is the sole manufacturer of this epoxidised natural rubber, and senior marketing manager Sarimah Nasir told Tyres & Accessories that Felda is preparing to produce between 200 and 300 tonnes of Ekoprena and Pureprena deproteinised natural rubber per month this year.
“Commercial production will then increase at our plant in Malaysia to 1,000 tonnes per month in 2014,” Ms Nasir shared. “Felda already supplies natural rubber to the global tyre majors, and once they begin purchasing Ekoprena, we will be ready with sufficient quantities.” Felda’s annual natural rubber production capacity is 280,000 tonnes.
Ekoprena was developed in the UK by TARRC, and company representative Gail Reader pointed out to Tyres & Accessories that “Ekoprena is the most sustainable rubber product on the market.” Responding to questions about tests being undertaken with guayule and Russian dandelion, she added: “Dandelion is a plant that is harvested rather than a tree with a lifespan, and therefore the hevea tree is more sustainable. Some other alternatives need to undergo a lot more processes in order to develop the finished product. We’d like to think there’s no direct comparison between Ekoprena and these other products – the forest is still doing its job.”