ZWIJNDRECHT, Belgium (May 3, 2012)—Lanxess A.G. officially inaugurated the butyl rubber expansion at its Zwijndrecht facility, where it also has built two pilot plants.
The material supplier spent about $26 million to increase butyl rubber capacity at the factory by 10 percent to 150,000 metric tons a year. The project was completed at the end of 2011, several months ahead of schedule.
“This investment underpins the major role that our butyl rubber production here in Zwijndrecht plays in our global strategy,” Lanxess Chairman Axel Heitmann said at the official opening ceremony.
Butyl rubbers are used in tire inner liners and treads. Specialty applications include protective clothing and medical devices.
The pilot plants there were built to test an innovative production technology, according to the company. Heitmann said the aim of the new technology is to use fewer resources to be more energy efficient and environmentally friendly.
Lanxess also is building a butyl rubber plant in Singapore that is expected to start up in the first quarter of 2013 and have 100,000 tons of annual capacity. Its other butyl plant is in Sarnia, Ontario, where it has capability to make 150,000 tons of the material a year.