HORGEN, Switzerland (March 10, 2009)—Dow Europe has opened a 60,000 metric ton per year facility in Schkopau, Germany, for making solution-SBR, and as part of the deal, JSR Corp. has rights to a portion of the capacity of the unit.
The plant produces the latest generation of synthetic rubber, a key component in the manufacturing of tread profiles in high performance tires.
Ralf Irmert, global business director Synthetic Rubber, said the company's products enable its tire producing partners to implement significant advantages in areas like rolling resistance and grip performance, while increasing supply security.
Irmert said the plant has been designed specifically to allow batch production of specific grades of functionalized S-SBR developed in conjunction with major customers in the tire industry.
He said that six months ago demand for S-SBR had been far in excess of capacity in Europe, but now with the current downturn this plant will bring the supply-demand situation more or less into balance and he expected that the plant would be full by the end of the year. In the meantime, the plant would be in ramp-up phase, steadily bringing production on stream.