LONDON—Synthomer P.L.C. is expanding its nitrile butadiene rubber latex capacity by roughly 40 percent with the construction of a new production plant in Asia, the English group has confirmed to ERJ.
The facility will be built in an undisclosed location and will have a capacity to produce 200,000 metric tons per year of NBR latex, president Tim Hughes said in a written statement.
Set to come on stream in 2024, the project is estimated to cost $208-$277 million, he said in an Aug. 7 statement.
"We will disclose the location in Asia in due course but (I can) confirm long lead items have been procured in the first phase of the investment," he said.
The United Kingdom-based supplier expects its 60,000-ton NBR latex expansion project at Pasir Gudang, Malaysia, to come on stream in the first quarter of 2022.
In its half-year financial report Aug. 5, Synthomer said its nitriles business continued to benefit from "significant investment in capacity and technology."
NBR, it said, remains an area of long-term growth, driven by megatrends around hygiene and health, particularly in emerging markets.
"Whilst demand levels are likely to normalize early in first half of 2022, the growth opportunities in NBR are compelling and underpin today's announcement," according to Synthomer's half-year report.
For the first half of 2021, Synthomer saw earnings (EBITDA) rise 238 percent to $446 million on 73 percent higher sales of $1.7 billion.
Overall volumes rose 19 percent to 909,000 tons, with the performance elastomers unit—NBR latex and styrene butadiene rubber (SBR) latex—posting the highest growth of 400 percent to 224,000 tons.
For the second half of the year, Synthomer said it expected growth across its core divisions to continue, with ongoing high levels of demand for NBR as a consequence of the COVID-19 pandemic.