Synthos closing Czech ESBR line due to ‘unpredictable costs in Europe’
Synthos is closing its synthetic rubber Emulsion-SBR (ESBR) production line in the Czech Republic due to “the unsustainable market environment for ESBR due to unpredictable costs in Europe”. Synthos will cease ESBR production at its Kralupy, Czech Republic operation in the second quarter of this year.
Synthos announced last September that it was no longer able to operate ESBR production at full capacity as a direct result of the geopolitical situation and the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Against that backdrop, and given predictions that gas price volatility will continue, the company has now taken the decision to not only to indefinitely cease production of ESBR in the Czech Republic but also to “reduce annual ESBR capacity from 430,000 tons to 320,000 tons”.
Despite this reduction, Synthos remains the largest producer of ESBR in Europe, according to the company, and will “carefully monitor the development of utility and feedstock costs in Europe and the related competitiveness in the global market environment.”
“After careful consideration, particularly in light of expert forecasts on the cost situation of the chemical industry in Europe, we will not be able to continue operating our ESBR plant in the Czech Republic. Such a decision is not made easily, because without the employees of the ESBR plant in Kralupy we would not be the company we are today. That is why we will do everything possible to ensure that as many employees as possible can find jobs in other departments at the Kralupy plant.” Matteo Marchisio, Business Unit Director, Synthetic Rubber explained, adding: “It goes without saying that our customers are equally important. Our transition plan ensures a smooth transition for our customers, whom we will supply from one of our other ESBR plants in Europe.”
Company representatives clarified that the decision does not affect Synthos’ commitment to the production and development of SSBR, BR, ESBR, NBR and HSR, at its manufacturing sites in Poland and Germany and to the production of butadiene rubber (BR) in Kralupy, Czech Republic.