BERRE L'ETANG, France (March 7, 2008) — Dow Europe is planning to shut down its Berre L'Etang cobalt-catalyzed polybutadiene rubber (Co-PBR) site.
The plant, which according to International Institute of Synthetic Rubber Producers has a capacity of 45,000 metric tons per year, is operated by Shell Petrochimie Mediterranee S.A.S.
Craig Arnold, global business director for Dow Europe Synthetic Europe, said the firm made this decision after taking a long-term, strategic view of the synthetic rubber business, at which point the company decided to re-direct its resources to businesses where Dow can achieve an advantaged cost position.
Co-PBR is used in tire tread and sidewall compounds, conveyor belts, footwear, golf balls and mechanical goods.
Dow Europe manufactures lithium-catalyzed BR, which is used predominantly to manufacture high-impact polystyrene or ABS, and nickel-catalyzed BR, which is used in the manufacture of tires and footwear. It does not make neodymium-catalyzed BR, which is used in low-rolling resistance tires.