Butyl Rubber Lanxess Selects Singapore as Site for World’s Largest Nd-PBR Plant

Editor: Dr. Jörg Kempf

Lanxess has selected Singapore as the site for its new neodymium polybutadiene rubber (Nd-PBR) plant. The German specialty chemicals company plans to invest roughly € 200 million in a 140,000 metric tons per annum facility on Jurong Island Chemical Park. The facility will be the largest of its kind in the world and is expected to start up in the first half of 2015.

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Production of butyl rubber: This process step shows the dehumidification of the rubber crumbs. (Picture: Lanxess)
Production of butyl rubber: This process step shows the dehumidification of the rubber crumbs. (Picture: Lanxess)

Singapur, Leverkusen/Germany – “It is only one year since we broke ground for our butyl plant in Singapore. Now we are ready to move forward with the second largest investment project in our history,” said Lanxess CEO Axel C. Heitmann. “The dynamic Asia region is a key cornerstone of our mid-term growth strategy.”

Lanxess conducted a feasibility study to evaluate potential locations for the plant in Asia. Singapore won due to a very good raw materials supply.

Lanxess and the Petrochemical Corporation of Singapore (Private) Limited (PCS) have signed a MoU on the long-term supply, via pipeline, of butadiene from PCS to Lanxess and raffinate II from Lanxess to PCS. Butadiene is the raw material Lanxess needs to produce Nd-PBR and raffinate II will be a product stream from Lanxess’ future butyl rubber plant in Singapore.

“We are delighted to have reached this MoU with Lanxess to supply the key feedstock for its state-of-the-art synthetic rubber plant and to purchase raffinate II from them,” said PCS Managing Director, Akira Yonemura.

Other arguments in favor of Singapore were its excellent infrastructure, highly-skilled workforce, large sea port and close proximity to growth markets.

"We are delighted with Lanxess’ intention to build its new Nd-PBR plant in Singapore," said Leo Yip, Chairman of the Singapore Economic Development Board. "Lanxess’ expansion plan is a testament to Singapore’s value as a strategic location for high value manufacturing activities."

Lanxess’ new Nd-PBR plant will be located on Jurong Island next to the company’s € 400 million butyl rubber plant, which is currently under construction and will come on stream in the first quarter of 2013.

Construction of the butyl rubber plant is progressing according to schedule. Engineering and soil preparation have been completed and the installation of infrastructure and steel is underway. In addition, Lanxess reached one million man hours without lost time incident this month on the building site, at which 750 employees are currently active.