THE HAGUE, Netherlands—Arlanxeo is closing its neodymium polybutadiene rubber plant in Singapore as part of efforts to "optimize resources and capabilities in its global NdBR production network."
Production operations at the facility will cease by the end of 2020, with the plant to be fully decommissioned by the first quarter of 2021, said Li Birnie, global head of corporate communications at Arlanxeo. The facility has an output of 140,000 metric tons per year.
The decision, which has already been shared with stakeholders, is part of a broader global strategy in response to changes in the synthetic rubber industry, the official said in an Oct. 19 written statement to ERJ.
"We have taken every measure to minimize the impact of this closure," Birnie said. "All affected internal and external stakeholders, such as employees, customers, and suppliers were informed and communicated last month."
The statement said Arlanxeo is committed to supporting its customers, in APAC and globally, adding that it "will fully support all customers for a smooth transition to products manufactured by (its) other NdBR production units."
Marking an investment of around $236.5 million, the Singapore NdBR plant was opened by Arlanxeo's former owner, Lanxess AG, in August 2015 in response to increasing demand for the polymer in low rolling-resistance tires.
The NDBR unit is located next to Arlanxeo's 100,000 tpa butyl rubber plant on Jurong Island, which continues to be an "important strategic location," the company said.