TOKYO—Japanese specialty chemicals company Asahi Kasei is planning to expand its solution styrene-butadiene rubber production capacity by 2020, according to a September briefing made public late last month.
The reason for the expansion policy, said the Japanese chemicals manufacturer, is the fact that SSBR growth is exceeding that of emulsion styrene-butadiene rubber.
The company said its strategy for growth in the SSBR market was two-fold: one, focused on technological development, and one on “proactive capacity expansion.”
The goal, said Asahi Kasei, was to make the company the “world's No. 1 SSBR supplier” by 2020.
While the company did not provide exact details of the plan, it said the expansion could include further development of its Singapore facility by building new production lines as well as construction of new facilities overseas.
Asahi Kasei currently produces a total of 240 kilotons per year of SSBR, with 140 kilotons per year manufactured in its Japanese facilities in Kawasaki and Oita and the rest in Singapore.
On the technology front, said the briefing, production would be based on “continuous” as opposed to batch processes.
“Our continuous process SSBR, with high molecular weight, contributes to enhanced wet grip, wear resistance and handling stability,” said the briefing.