SARNIA, Ontario (July 6) — Lanxess A.G. has completed an expansion at its Sarnia plant that has increased butyl capacity by 42 percent to about 135,000 metric tons annually.
The company made the announcement at a July 6 media event at the Sarnia site.
In addition, Lanxess has begun work on a second expansion project at the plant, which will increase capacity another 15,000 metric tons to 150,000 metric tons annually per year by the end of 2008. Company officials estimate the second expansion will make the Sarnia facility the largest butyl production factory in the world.
Global demand for butyl, primarily from the tire industry, led to both the expansion in Ontario and a recently completed project in Antwerp, Belgium, which boosted capacity there by 10 percent. Combined, the two facilities have a capacity of about 265,000 metric tons per year.
In addition, late last month Lanxess said it was studying the possible construction of a butyl plant in Asia that would cost an estimated $540 million to build. The company is looking at potential sites in Singapore, Malaysia or Thailand to host the facility.
The Asia/Pacific region is Lanxess´ fastest-growing market for butyl. In 2004, 30 percent of the company´s butyl revenues came from the region. In 2007, it will be about 40 percent, according to Ron Commander, managing director of the firm´s butyl business.