Arlanxeo plans multi-million-euro expansion French, Brazilian facilities

Arlanxeo plans multi-million-euro expansion of French, Brazilian facilities

5:58 AM, 5th July 2018
NBR rubber facility in La Wantzenau, France.
NBR rubber facility in La Wantzenau, France.

MAASTRICHT, NETHERLANDS: Arlanxeo said that it is strengthening its position as the world’s leading manufacturer of synthetic rubber.

Over the next three years, Arlanxeo will invest euro mid-double-digit million to modernize its production sites in Triunfo, Brazil and La Wantzenau, France. 

Triunfo facility in Brazil

In Brazil Arlanxeo is investing in its facility in Triunfo, Rio Grande do Sul, to make the production of polybutadiene rubber (PBR) more flexible. Currently, emulsion styrene-butadiene rubber (E-SBR), which is mainly used in car and truck tires, is produced there.

As a result of the upgrade, the company will also be able to produce the more advanced PBR types Nd-BR (neodymium butadiene rubber) and lithium butadiene rubber (Li-BR) for tire and non-tire applications in Triunfo in the second half of 2020. This follows the growing need of the local tire manufacturers for high performance tires.

At the same time, Arlanxeo is relocating part of its existing E-SBR production in Triunfo to its facility in Duque de Caxias, Rio de Janeiro, where E-SBR is already produced. This should allow for better economics going forward. 

Polybutadiene rubbers under the Arlanxeo brand name Buna are primarily used in the tread and sidewalls of tires.

In addition to tires, they are also used to modify plastics in the production of HIPS (high impact polystyrene) for injection moulding applications. Other areas of application include golf balls, running shoes, and conveyor belts. 

La Wantzenau facility in France

In addition to the regular maintenance investments, Arlanxeo is modernizing its production site in La Wantzenau, France, the world’s largest nitrile butadiene rubber (NBR) facility. 

Arlanxeo expects global demand for high-quality NBR rubbers to increase in the coming years. The focus here is on growth in traditional business areas and new applications, some of which have been developed with customers, but also the use of NBR as a raw material for the production of the company’s Therban (HNBR) speciality products. 

The NBR synthetic rubber produced by Arlanxeo in La Wantzenau is sold under the Perbunan, Krynac, and Baymod N brands. It is used in the production of cables, seals, hoses, blankets, and soles for safety and athletic shoes, among other uses.

The most important markets are the automotive industry, the construction sector, as well as oil and gas production and processing. 

“With this investment program, we are laying a foundation for the company’s further profitable growth. In this context, we are systematically implementing advanced technologies for growing high performance rubber grades in order to support the development of our customers in important regions over the long term,” said Jorge Nogueira, CEO, Arlanxeo.

“This investment highlights our commitment to Brazil and the long-term importance of the Brazilian market for our high-performance rubbers, especially in the tire segment. We want to support our local customers with the innovative technologies that will make tires, and as a result, transportation safer, more environmentally friendly, and thus more sustainable,” said Matthias Gotta, head of Arlanxeo’s tire & speciality rubbers business unit (BU TSR).

“This investment lays the foundation for further targeted growth of our NBR speciality rubber grades as an important part of our rubber portfolio. This enables us to strengthen and secure our position as a leading global supplier of NBR rubbers for the long term,” added Christian Widdershoven, member of the managing board at Arlanxeo and head of the high-performance elastomers business unit.

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