KUALA LUMPUR—Cabot Corp. is expanding its manufacturing as well as R&D capabilities at its plant in Port Dickson, Malaysia, according to the Malaysian Investment Development Authority.
The project centers on Cabot's engineered elastomer composites (E2C) unit, launched in 2020 to supply the tire and industrial rubber industry.
Under the expansion program, Cabot is increasing its staff by around 30 percent and installing enhanced digital controls and automation systems.
The U.S.-based company also is signing a long-term extension and expansion of its land lease in Port Dickson, according to a Feb. 26 MIDA statement.
At the Port Dickson site, Cabot has developed the first industrial scale, continuous liquid mixing process for natural rubber latex, the agency also noted.
The expanded R&D capabilities will enable Cabot to further advance rubber technology via innovations is areas such modeling and optimization of liquid mixing, characterizing elastomer composites and automation of continuous rubber processing.
"Cabot will benefit from Malaysia's solid chemical industry ecosystem, backed by investor-friendly business environment and policies as well as the availability of talented and skilled workers," said Dato' Azman Mahmud, CEO of MIDA.
Cabot Engineered Elastomer Composites will continue to "strengthen our investments in Port Dickson and support the growth of this high-performance product line," said David Reynolds, VP and general manager of the E2C business.
Cabot's E2C composites are produced via a proprietary liquid mixing process for natural rubber latex and include three commercially viable products for off-the road mining tire applications.
According to the company, tires made with E2C rubber are said to last longer and are more energy efficient than conventionally made alternatives.
Furthermore, the rubber compounding process requires "fewer mixing stages, shorter cycles and lower temperatures, translating into additional sustainability and economic benefits."