SAN DONATO, Italy—Versalis S.p.A. and Lotte Chemical Corp. have extended an elastomers co-operation deal with a technology license agreement and say they plan to build a new facility in South Korea.
The move is focused on the styrene-isoprene-styrene and styrene-butadiene-styrene (SIS/SBS) materials, particularly for the hot-melt adhesives market as well as technical and sporting goods, bitumen and plastics modifiers.
The SIS/SBS license agreement builds on the consolidation of a partnership that started in 2012 when Versalis and Lotte launched the development of elastomers production with Versalis technologies in Yeosu, South Korea. This led to the establishment in October 2013 of the Lotte Versalis Elastomers joint venture.
The 50-50 JV will include Versalis SIS/SBS proprietary technology for a 50-kiloton-per-year plant to be constructed at Lotte Chemical's Yeosu site in South Korea.
The firms say the cooperation has a strategic value by enabling both partners to strengthen and enlarge the scope of their alliance onto premium market segments with a rapidly escalating demand in the Asian region.
In addition to the right to use proprietary SIS/SBS process and engineering services, Versalis said it will provide the Korean petrochemicals company with commercial support and technical assistance.
Lotte Chemical will handle the vertical integration with its new isoprene unit, to be completed within the second half of 2016. It also will provide the Yeosu plant operations, maintenance services and existing infrastructures, including logistics.
The SIS-SBS plant is scheduled for start-up in early 2018 and will be connected to the new isoprene plant and the butadiene unit, which is already operational at Yeosu, for feedstock.