Rubber Production World's Biggest Nd–PBR Rubber Facility in Singapore Underway

The world's biggest plant for neodymium polybutadiene rubber (Nd-PBR) takes the next step: Lanxess announced its € 200 million project to be well underway. Groundbreaking could be celebrated in September, CEO Heitmann said.

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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)

Singapore – Construction works for the world's largest plant for neodymium polybutadiene rubber (Nd-PBR) are about to begin in Singapore, where German speciality chemicals company Lanxess invest € 200 million in a new 140,000 metric tons per year production facility. The company is confident that constructions can begin this year, as the engineering works for the plant are well advanced, company speakers told. Groundbreaking at the construction site in Jurong Island Chemical Park is scheduled for September 11th. The factory, the largest of its kind, will mainly serve the market for “Green Tires”, especially in Asia, Lanxess stated. First commercial operations are expected for 2015.

First Plans for World–Class Rubber Plant Announced in 2011

First plans for a Nd-PBR were put on the map in June 2011, when Lanxess CEO Axel C. Heitmann announced the second largest investment project in the company's history. Since then, engineering works have advanced considerably, he confirmed. “I am delighted to announce that it is now full steam ahead for the investment project,” Heitmann said at an event in Singapore to sign contracts with key suppliers.

Heitmann explained that Lanxess had just signed contracts with key suppliers for the Nd-PBR project, so that the project execution phase could be begun anytime soon to set up the infrastructure for the construction of the plant.

Long Term Supply Contracts Wrapped Up

A on a long-term supply contract for butadiene was signed with the private Petrochemical Corporation of Singapore (PCS). Butadiene is a key raw material for the production of Nd-PBR. PCS now builds a new butadiene extraction unit and associated infrastructure necessary to supply the raw material. Both companies had signed a Memorandum of Understanding already in June last year regarding the supply.

“We are also very pleased to announce our decision to go ahead with our new butadiene plant, which is made possible through the close collaboration with Lanxess,” said Akira Yonemura, PCS Managing Director.

In addition, Singapore’s TP Utilities Pte (a subsidiary of Tuas Power Ltd) will provide steam to the Nd-PBR plant. TP Utilities is adding 650 tons per hour of steam capacity to its existing biomass clean coal co–generation plant on Jurong Island, which currently has 500 tons per hour of steam capacity and 100 Megawatt of electricity generation capacity, company officials told the press.

We will be supplying steam to Lanxess’ new Nd-PBR plant, when it begins operation, for a contract period of ten years, with an option to extend the service,” explained Lim Kong Puay, President and Chief Executive Officer of Tuas Power.