TOKYO (June 15) — JSR Corp. is expanding capacity for EPDM at plants in Japan and South Korea and for solution SBR at a plant in Japan, and has set up a contract manufacturing deal in Europe for S-SBR.
In South Korea, JSR will expand annual capacity at its Kumho Polychem Co. Ltd. joint venture plant in Cheon-nam by 56 percent to 78,000 metric tons by August 2007, to help establish its position as a leading supplier of EPDM in Asia.
JSR recently increased its shareholding in Kumho Polychem to 50 percent. The other owners are ExxonMobil Chemical Co. and Korea Kumho Petrochemical Co. Ltd.
In Japan, JSR will boost EPDM capacity at its Kashima plant 44 percent to 36,000 tons annually and S-SBR capacity at its Yokkaichi plant 28.6 percent to 45,000 tons.
The company also has established a contract manufacturing deal with an undisclosed European supplier of S-SBR in order to "enhance our supply ability of S-SBR in Europe."
JSR did not disclose the value of the investments in these projects.
The firm also has added a compounding plant in Guangdong province, China, to supply automotive component manufacturers with high quality compounds.
JSR disclosed the projects in its annual financial report, which showed the firm´s elastomers business unit grew 11.6 percent last year to $945 million, or about one third of total sales; operating profits soared 61 percent to $107 million.