German specialty chemicals company Lanxess has started up on schedule a nitrile butadiene rubber (NBR) plant in Nantong, China, as part of its 50:50 joint venture with Taiwan's TSRC Corporation.
The two companies have jointly invested USD 50 million (approx. EUR 39 million) in the new plant, which has an initial annual capacity of 30,000 metric tons. Some 100 new jobs have been created through the investment.
China is the world's biggest and fastest-growing NBR market, with a compound annual growth rate of approximately 10 percent. Demand is above all being driven by the automotive and construction industries.
"The new plant is the most modern of its kind in Asia and will address the needs of the two leading megatrends in China - rapid urbanization and growing mobility," said Axel C. Heitmann, Chairman of the Board of Management at Lanxess, during the official opening ceremony.
The two partners set up a joint venture in May 2010 called Lanxess-TSRC (Nantong) Chemical Industrial Company Ltd. and supplied Chinese customers with NBR produced at Lanxess' La Wantzenau site in France until the start-up of the Nantong plant.
The new plant is built on an area of around 40,000 square meters and is located in the Nantong Economic and Technological Development Zone in Jiangsu province, northwest of Shanghai. Construction was achieved with a perfect safety record.
Lanxess is the world's largest producer of nitrile butadiene rubber, with a portfolio of more than 60 grades. The most important Krynac grades will be produced in Nantong. NBR products have a higher resistance to oil than conventional rubbers. They also demonstrate a better resistance to ozone, UV light, hot air and long-term aging.