The facility on Jurong Island is designed for a capacity of 100,000 metric tons per year and required an investment of up to EUR 400 million (USD 575 million). 10 percent of the total investment for the plant, the most modern of its kind in Asia, will go into environmental protection measures.
"In terms of volume, this investment is the largest in our five-year history," said Lanxess CEO Axel C. Heitmann at the groundbreaking. "It underlines our commitment to synthetic rubber as well as to our customers and to the future growth markets in Asia."
"I also welcome Lanxess' decision to relocate its Butyl Rubber Global Headquarters and its top management to Singapore. It affirms Singapore's value as a strategic vantage point in the region for global companies," said Mr Lim Hng Kiang, Minister for Trade and Industry at the groundbreaking.
The new rubber plant is being built on an area of 150,000 square meters. The property is leased from JTC Corporation, an authorized agent of the Singapore Ministry of Trade and Industry. The neighboring Shell refinery will ensure a long-term supply of isobutene, the main raw material for the production of synthetic rubber. Through its new plant, Lanxess will create some 200 new, highly skilled jobs and fill them locally. At the height of the construction phase, some 1,500 workers were employed at the site.
The new plant also sets standards for the region and the world in terms of environmental protection. 10 percent of the building sum is to be invested in modern technologies engineered to protect the environment. With the help of pioneering technology, the manufacturing process will require significantly less steam, thus lowering the plant's overall energy consumption. The process not only is evidence of Lanxess' many years of experience in rubber manufacturing, but also raises the bar in the industry.
Lanxess will be able to meet the rising demand for butyl rubber in tires, driven by the mobility trend, which is developing particularly among the growing middle classes in China and India. In addition, on account of its unique properties, butyl rubber is also a key product for use in the pharmaceutical industry, primarily in Asia.