Connell Brothers to market Lehigh tyre industry raw materials in SE Asia

Connell Brothers (CBC), the largest distributor of speciality chemicals and ingredients in Asia-Pacific, has announced a partnership with specialty materials company Lehigh Technologies to market Lehigh’s PolyDyne micronised rubber powders (MRP) to the tyre and rubber industries in Southeast Asia. CBC already provides marketing, sales, supply chain and technical support for PolyDyne product in Japan, and the new announcement focuses on broadening industry outreach, supply chain efficiency and technical support there, as well as introducing MRP to Korea and more of Southeast Asia.

MRP, produced from end-of-life tyres and post-industrial rubber, is being used in the manufacture of affordable, high performance and sustainable tyres and rubber products. The product addresses the trend for implementing more robust sustainability and waste reduction programmes to address the automotive industry’s end-of-life tyre production, helping to meet environmental goals, such as energy savings and reducing virgin rubber consumption.

“The Japanese tyre and rubber industries have always shown clear demand for specialty materials that offer cost and environmental benefits,” said Azita Owlia, vice president for north Asia at CBC. “These materials also need to meet stringent performance criteria, given Japan’s best-in-class quality and safety standards for tyre manufacturing. Lehigh’s PolyDyne MRP delivers all of these benefits, and we expect that the partnership will expand the MRP customer base in Japan. Encouraged by our success in Japan, we also expect to develop a market for PolyDyne in Korea, another leading automotive manufacturing hub in Asia.”

“With one of the largest automotive sectors in the world, Asia is an important market for MRP,” said Alan Barton, CEO of Lehigh Technologies. “Our MRP has already been used to make more than 250 million tyres globally, and our customer base includes six of the top 10 tyre companies in the world. Thanks to Connell Brothers’ commercial strengths and excellent technical sales team, we have successfully introduced MRP to the Japanese market. We are now working to boost our capabilities in the region in order to leverage this traction and accelerate MRP adoption, as well as to introduce MRP to other markets in the Asia-Pacific region.”

US-based Lehigh currently exports up to 20 per cent of its product, mostly to Asia. Lehigh CEO Alan Barton expects that number to grow over the next few years. Lehigh says it currently has partnerships with six of the top 10 tyre companies in the world, including Japan’s Yokohama.

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