Lanxess opens 200m euro synthetic rubber plant in Singapore, its biggest single investment globally

German speciality chemicals maker Lanxess' butyl rubber plant on Jurong Island is the most technologically advanced synthetic rubber plant in Asia.
German speciality chemicals maker Lanxess' butyl rubber plant on Jurong Island is the most technologically advanced synthetic rubber plant in Asia. PHOTO: LXS BTR PLANT

SINGAPORE - Specialty chemicals group Lanxess has opened a new 200 million euro (S$318.5 million) plant in Jurong Island - its largest single investment to date.

The neodymium butadiene rubber facility, which produces synthetic rubber that can increase fuel efficiency and performance in tires, is the German company's second plant in Singapore.

Its production capacity stands at 140,000 metric tons a year, which will serve global markets, with an emphasis on the growing Asian markets, said Lanxess in a statement on Thursday (Aug 27).

The new plant has also generated about 100 highly-skilled jobs here, largely filled by locals.

The Asia-Pacific region accounts for about a quarter of Lanxess' sales and is home to key growth markets tied to megatrends relating to mobility and urbanisation.

Minister for Trade and Industry Lim Hng Kiang, who was at the opening ceremony, said that the growth of emerging economies in the region is a "silver lining" in today's global uncertainty.

Chemical sales in Asia, for example, are expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 4 to 5 per cent over the next 10 years, he noted.

"Riding on this growth, Singapore can play a significant role for companies looking to tap on opportunities in th is region - by becoming a strategic base form which companies manage their Asian operations."

Said Mr Matthias Zachert, chairman of the board of management at Lanxess: "Together with our adjacent butyl rubber plant, the opening of this new butadiene rubber plant reinforces the strategic role of Singapore as our hub for synthetic rubber production for the Asian markets."

tsjwoo@sph.com.sg