Lanxess to build EPDM synthetic rubber plant in China


German specialty chemicals company Lanxess has announced plans to build an ethylene propylene diene monomer (EPDM) synthetic rubber plant in Changzhou, China.

The €235m plant is expected to produce 160,000mtpy of EPDM and create nearly 200 new jobs, according to the company.

Lanxess CEO Axel Heitmann said the plant was being built to meet Chinese demand for EPDM.

"This plant also represents our company's third major rubber investment in Asia and strengthens our credentials as the world's leading provider of synthetic rubber," Heitmann said.

The new plant, located at the Changzhou Yangtze Riverside Industrial Park, will be supplied with ethylene and propylene from a methanol-to-olefins (MTO) plant, which is currently under construction.

The plant, which is expected to start in 2015, will use Keltan ACE technology to produce EPDM.

Lanxess also operates EPDM production sites in Geleen, the Netherlands; Marl, Germany; Orange, US and Triunfo, Brazil.

The company has been using bio-based ethylene to produce and market EPDM under the name of Keltan Eco Since the end of 2011.

Global demand for EPDM is likely to grow by over 4% in the next few years, while demand in China is expected to increase by about 8%, according to Lanxess.

EPDM is used in the plastics modification, cable and wire, construction and oil additives industries.