Asahi Kasei Chemicals held a groundbreaking ceremony in Jurong Island, Singapore, for the first phase of construction of a new plant to produce solution-polymerized styrene-butadiene rubber (S-SBR). The plant will produce 50,000 tpa in first phase, scheduled for start-up in May 2013. 50,000 tpa capacity is planned to be added in the second phase in early 2015.
S-SBR is a synthetic rubber finds application in tires that provide greater fuel efficiency while maintaining safety performance. As environmental regulations tighten and environmental awareness grows, demand for high-performance tires providing improved fuel efficiency is growing worldwide, influencing demand for S-SBR. Also, automotive demand continues to grow in Asia, hence the overall market for tire rubber in Asia is expanding.
Asahi Kasei Chemicals is expanding S-SBR operations as strategic world-leading business, with the new plant in Singapore representing a major step in diversifying its operation base for enhanced stability of supply to meet growing demand and customer needs.