LEVERKUSEN, Germany (June 28, 2010)—Rubber and chemicals manufacturer Lanxess A.G. plans to expand the production capacity of its butyl rubber plant in Zwijndrecht, Belgium, by 10 percent, the company announced June 28.
The project is being undertaken to meet growing global demand for regular butyl and halobutyl synthetic rubber. Lanxess will invest about $24.6 million to increase capacity at the site by 14,000 metric tons per year. The current capacity of the plant is about 135,000 metric tons per year.
The expansion will mainly take place during a scheduled turnaround of the plant in the third quarter of 2011 and is expected to be completed in the second quarter of 2012, the company said.
Overall demand for butyl rubber has returned to pre-crisis levels already in 2010, said Axel C. Heitmann, chairman of Lanxess' board of management. The Leverkusen-based firm expects demand to grow further so that the new capacities in Belgium and its to-be-built butyl rubber plant in Singapore will be fully absorbed by the market, he said.
Lanxess broke ground in May for the facility in Singapore, with a total capacity of 100,000 metric tons per year. The company has another butyl rubber plant in Sarnia, Ontario, with a capacity of 150,000 metric tons per year. Both the Sarnia and Zwijndrecht sites are running at full capacity.