RIO GRANDE DO SUL, Brazil—Synthetic rubber producer Synthos S.A. intends to expand its base in Brazil with the addition of a new plant that will produce neodymium polybutadiene rubber.
The firm said it will build the facility in Rio Grande, but it did not release financial details.
Synthos noted that the expansion will be carried out only after 2013 contracts on raw material supplies go into effect.
Once the contracts are implemented, it said, the Poland-based company will construct a modern production plant to make NdBR, used in the manufacture of high performance car and truck tires and various technical rubber products.
Capacity at the tentatively planned facility, which will sit on about 24 acres, is expected to reach 80,000 metric tons annually. A company spokesman said the new factory will employ about 120.
Need for the new plant was created after Synthos signed a contract with tire manufacturers Michelin and Pirelli & C. S.p.A. to supply NdBR to their facilities in Brazil, he said. The production of polybutadiene rubber in Brazil will be based on a license granted by Michelin, the spokesman said.
“Considering the growing demand for synthetic rubber in Brazil and other South American countries, we will not aim at replacing the local production but try to substitute the import into the region,” according to Synthos CEO Tomasz Kalwat.
In 2012, the company's rubber exports to South America amounted to 3.3 percent; by 2013, it jumped to 6.3 percent, the firm said.
In the first three quarters of 2013, according to the Polish Foreign Market Research Lab, sales of tires for new cars in Brazil increased 9 percent, and the replacement market rose 11 percent over the same period in 2012.