Arlanxeo invests to reinforce its market position in synthetic rubber
Arlanxeo will invest a mid double-digit million EUR amount to modernize its production sites for synthetic rubber in Triunfo, Brazil and La Wantzenau, France, over the next three years.
In Brazil Arlanxeo is investing in its facility in Triunfo, Rio Grande do Sul, to make the production of polybutadiene rubber (PBR) more flexible. Currently emulsion styrene-butadiene rubber (E-SBR), which is mainly used in car and truck tires, is produced there. As a result of the upgrade, the company will also be able to produce the more advanced PBR types Nd-BR (neodymium butadiene rubber) and lithium butadiene rubber (Li-BR) for tire and non-tire applications in Triunfo in the second half of 2020. This follows the growing need of the local tire manufacturers for high performance tires.
At the same time, Aralnxeo is relocating part of its existing E-SBR production in Triunfo to its facility in Duque de Caxias, Rio de Janeiro, where E-SBR is already produced. According to Arlanxeo, demand in Brazil for high-performance rubbers for tires continues to grow, supported by the tire labeling regulation, similar to laws that are already in place in the European Union, Japan, and South Korea, for example. All new tires produced in Brazil must be rated with respect to their rolling resistance, grip on wet track, and external noise. The use of Nd-BR in tires significantly improves tire performance, resulting in lower fuel consumption and better wet grip, among other benefits, according to Arlanxeo.
In addition to the regular maintenance investments, Arlanxeo is modernizing its production site in La Wantzenau, France, the world’s largest nitrile butadiene rubber (NBR) facility. “This investment lays the foundation for further targeted growth of our NBR specialty rubber grades as an important part of our rubber portfolio,” says Christian Widdershoven, member of the Managing Board at Arlanxeo and Head of the High Performance Elastomers business unit.
Aralnxeo expects global demand for high-quality NBR rubbers to increase in the coming years. The focus here is on growth in traditional business areas and new applications, some of which have been developed with customers, but also the use of NBR as a raw material for the production of the company’s Therban (HNBR) specialty products. The NBR synthetic rubber produced in La Wantzenau is sold under the Perbunan, Krynac, and Baymod N brands.
“With this investment program, we are laying a foundation for the company’s further profitable growth,” said Jorge Nogueira, Arlanxeo CEO. “In this context, we are systematically implementing advanced technologies for growing high performance rubber grades in order to support the development of our customers in important regions over the long term,” he explained further.