LEVERKUSEN, Germany—Rhein Chemie Rheinau GmbH, a subsidiary of Lanxess A.G., has opened its first production facility in Russia.
The site, in Lipetsk, southeast of Moscow, will manufacture polymer-bound rubber additives for the automotive and tire industries.
Forty jobs will be created in the short term.
The company also will add a production facility at the site for bladders used in tire manufacturing in 2016, which will serve the Russian and Commonwealth of Independent States markets. A company spokeswoman said after the final planning for the extension phase in 2016, the investment figure will land somewhere between $6.5 million and $13 million.
Lanxess also operates bladder plants in Burzaco/Buenos Aires, Argentina; Little Rock, Ark.; and Porto Feliz, Brazil.
The company said it generated approximately $103 million from the Russian market in 2012, which is about four times as much as it obtained when it entered the region in 2009.
"We consider Russia as a growth market based on the good outlook for the car and tire industry," the spokeswoman said in an email. "The growing technical and environmental requirements will also help us to increase our sales."
The new plant will cut down on delivery times, and payment procedures will be simplified considerably for customers, according to the company. The spokeswoman said Rhein Chemie will be the only supplier with a local production site equipped with its own technical and commercial team in Rus- sia.
The Lipetsk plant will produce 1,500 metric tons of predispersed, pol-ymer-bound Rhenogran rubber additives. The product range includes accelerators, sulfur donors, antioxidants and crosslinking agents for manufacturing passenger tires and technical elastomer products such as profiles, hoses and seals for the automotive industry.
"Rhenogran is one of Rhein Che-mie's most established and important brands and has a leading position in polymer-bound rubber additives," the spokeswoman said.
"It can significantly shorten mixing times and improve the homogeneity of rubber compounds," the official said. "That results in finished rubber products that deliver better performance and are more durable even under dynamic loads. So Rhenogran is particularly important for rubber processors who are seeking to increase quality, improve profitability and compete more effectively."
Lanxess recently began construction of a premium iron oxide red pigments facility in Ningbo, China.
The company is investing $70.8 million for a plant that will have the capacity to produce 25,000 metric tons per year.
Lanxess said construction is on schedule. It expects to introduce new red iron oxide pigments to global markets by the first quarter of 2015. The project will create 150 jobs in Ningbo.
A spokeswoman said China is the world's largest single market for iron oxide pigments, representing approximately 25 percent of the world's demand. An expansion of the plant is planned after the start up.
"Lanxess sees a growing demand for high-performance pigments with an increasing number of consumers in China globally turning to eco-friendly, sustainable products and solutions," the spokeswoman said.
The red pigments will be sold under its Bayferrox brand, and are used to color a variety of construction materials in the paint and coatings industry.
The pigments are available in brown, yellow, black, red and green with more than 100 shades. The brand is manufactured at sites in Germany, Brazil and China and are complemented by blending sites in England, Spain, the U.S., Australia and China.