With the purchase of the 49 per cent shareholding that Barito Pacific Group had in Royal Lestari Utama (RLU), the joint venture pilot project to develop sustainable rubber tree plantations in Indonesia becomes a 100 per cent Michelin-owned affair. Moving forwards, Michelin views RLU as a “significant long-term opportunity to actively contribute to making the natural rubber sector more sustainable.”
The USA has classified natural rubber as a strategic raw material that serves as a critical ingredient in military, aircraft and truck tyres. The country currently relies on rubber imports for its tyre production but wishes to reduce this dependency, and government and military are thus working with private partners to accelerate commercialisation of natural rubber from dandelions. Goodyear Tire & Rubber will play a key role in achieving this goal.