MARL, Germany—The closure of Lanxess' EPDM production plant in Marl is progressing as planned, according to the firm.
“The production in Marl will end at the end of the first quarter of 2016 and Lanxess has developed and prepared EPDM alternatives from other production locations to support a successful transition,” the firm said in a written statement.
Lanxess had to delay the closure from end of 2015 to first quarter 2016 in a bid to allow its customer adjust to rubber types supplied by other sites.
According to the statement, 11 similar EPDM grades have now been developed and the majority is available from the company's plant in Geleen, Netherlands, to be supplied to customers.
“The customers are offered full support from our global sales and technical professionals,” Lanxess said.
Lanxess said production at its 160 kilotons-per-year Changzhou, China, EPDM plant is being ramped up gradually over time depending on customer demand.
“The customer validation process is progressing well,” the firm said.
“EPDM for customers in China was largely produced in Europe; but since the opening of our plant in Changzhou a big portion of the products for Chinese and Asian customers is produced locally in China.”
Lanxess also inaugurated 140 kilotons-per-year neodymium butadiene rubber plant in Singapore in August 2015, which it said is being ramped up gradually too.
Lanxess said the increased production would be in line with demand in the Asian tire market, which was aiming to achieve high global standards and fueling Nd-BR demand growth on the back of mobility trends focused on fuel-efficiency.
“Efficiency labeling for automotive tires is being adopted in more places around the world (for instance in South Korea and Japan), which leads to the gradual substitution of general purpose rubber by high performance rubbers such as Nd-BR,” the firm said.