ExxonMobil Yugen Kaisha (EMYK) announced that Japan Butyl Co. Ltd. (JBC) will expand the capacity of its halobutyl rubber manufacturing plant at Kashima to 80,000 tons per year. The expansion is planned to be completed in 2012.
“Demand for halobutyl rubber is expected to grow at about six percent per year, mainly in the Asia Pacific region,” said John Lyon, vice president, butyl polymers, ExxonMobil Chemical Company. “The expansion by our affiliate’s joint venture at Kashima will add 10,000 tons per year of capacity in the region. This aligns with ExxonMobil Chemical’s long-term commitment to meet industry demand.”
This is the second capacity expansion in five years at the Kashima halobutyl rubber plant.
The JBC butyl polymers manufacturing plant at Kawasaki also completed a major expansion in 2010 to bring its total capacity to 98,000 tons per year. That expansion incorporated ExxonMobil proprietary technology that enables significant energy savings.
Lyon adds, “Auto production is growing at a rapid pace in Asia, especially in China. This has led to increased tire sales for new cars and trucks as well as the sale of replacement tires as these vehicles age. Halobutyl rubber holds air in tubeless radial tires for both passenger cars and heavy duty trucks.”
ExxonMobil Chemical has more than doubled its global halobutyl rubber capacity since 1995. The company is a world leader in synthetic rubber technology, products and customer support.
Japan Butyl Co., Ltd., a butyl rubber manufacturing company, is a joint venture of ExxonMobil Yugen Kaisha and JSR Corporation. The company serves as a supply base for butyl rubber primarily in Asia. ExxonMobil Yugen Kaisha holds a 50 percent stake in Japan Butyl Co., Ltd.
ExxonMobil affiliate to expand halobutyl rubber capacity at JBC Kashima plant