LEVERKUSEN, Germany—Lanxess A.G. has completed the conversion of its Keltan-branded EPDM synthetic rubber operation in Sittard-Geleen, Netherlands, to its Advanced Catalysis Elastomers technology.
The new EPT 3 line has a 95,000 metric ton capacity, which the company said is more than half the total capacity at the plant. The other two lines produced in Sittard-Geleen will continue to be produced with the traditional Ziegler Natta method.
Lanxess' focus is to offer its customer base a wider range of products with high quality standards at competitive prices, said a company spokesman. The conversion will widen Lanxess' product range, improve the quality of its product and reduce energy consumption and catalyst waste.
The facility in Geleen is the only plant using ACE technology. Lanxess plans to open a facility in Jiangsu Province, China, by 2015 that will integrate ACE. The supplier said the China plant will have a 160,000 metric ton capacity and represents an investment of approximately $302 million.
The German company spent about $15 million in converting the Sittard-Geleen facility line. The cost included hardware upgrades and research and development investments.
The technology utilizes stronger active catalysts than the conventional method. With ACE, Lanxess said it can deliver a broad range of proven, high-quality EPM and EPDM grades. The company's current range of EPDM rubbers comprises seven ACE grades.
Lanxess' conversion is part of a company-wide integration of ACE. The company acquired the technology when it bought DSM Elastomers for $416 million in a deal announced in January 2011.