LEVERKUSEN, Germany (June 27) — Chemical group Lanxess A.G. is studying the possible construction of a $540 million butyl rubber plant in Asia, which it hopes to have on-stream by 2010 to serve tire production that is "increasingly shifting from the U.S. and Western Europe to Asia."
Lanxess is scouting for locations for the plant in Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand and will hold talks with possible host locations to study the feasibility of building the plant.
If Lanxess goes forward, the new plant will make both butyl and halobutyl rubber used principally in tire innerliners and would be the largest single investment in Lanxess´ history, Axel Heitmann, Lanxess management board chairman, said in a prepared statement.
Lanxess did not comment on the plant´s projected capacity. It will add to Lanxess´ existing annual butyl capacity of 265,000 metric tons at plants in Sarnia, Ontario, and Zwijndrecht, Belgium.
The plant will belong to the Lanxess Performance Rubber segment, which achieved total sales of $2.23 billion in 2006.