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Sabalan to break ground on radial tire plant in Iran

LONDON—Iran's Sabalan Tyre Co. plans to break ground soon on a $222 million radial tire plant in Sanandaj, Kordestan Province, and it is in talks with major European tire and machinery companies about the project, according to a senior company executive.

A groundbreaking ceremony, scheduled for Jan. 5, was postponed as senior government officials were unable to fly to the western province because of bad weather, according to Kamran Afshar-Imani, vice president and member of the board of directors at Sabalan Tyre.

As for the technology and machinery in the plant, the vice president said Sabalan was holding discussions with leading European companies, including Pirelli & C. S.p.a. The firm also has signed a letter of intent with Germany's HF Group and is negotiating with the Netherlands' VMI Epe, he added.

Construction on the 50,000 metric tons per year plant is expected start by this spring, Afshar-Imani said. About 30 percent of the plant's products will be all-steel light truck tires, and the rest will be passenger/SUV tires.

Sabalan Tire is one of four tire projects being pursued by the Iranian government to add 200,000 tons per year of local production capacity in the country.

Bluestar, firm to collaborate on compounding center

LONDON—Bluestar Silicones and Tur-kish rubber compounder Basoglu Kablo will establish a rubber compounding center in Turkey to serve customers with “technical products adapted to local requirements.”

According to a Jan. 13 news release, the new venture strengthens the long-term partnership with a technology license and supply agreement in silicone high consistency rubber compounding.

Basoglu Kablo has been in the silicone rubber business for more than 20 years. The move comes after Bluestar announced an investment of $16 million in a new HCR technology to bolster its market share.

Univar expands European deal with Dow Corning

LONDON—Univar Inc., a global chemical distributor, has expanded its European distribution agreement with Dow Corning to include the United Kingdom and Ireland markets.

With the expanded agreement, Univar began distribution of Dow Corning's silicone products into these regions on Jan. 2. Univar said its personal care team offers a comprehensive, global perspective on market trends, formulations and best-in-class technologies.

Lanxess expects to complete JV process by end of half

COLOGNE, Germany—German specialty chemicals company Lanxess A.G. is expecting to complete the approvals process for its joint venture with Saudi Aramco in the first half of 2016.

A Lanxess spokesman confirmed that the Indian fair trade authority CCI approved the deal just before the end of 2015. Lanxess and Saudi Aramco subsidiary Aramco Overseas Co. announced their agreement to establish a JV for synthetic rubber on Sept. 22.

The total joint venture is valued at about $3.1 billion. Lanxess received about $1.3 billion from Aramco for its 50 percent stake in the company.