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The world’s largest Neodymium Butadiene Rubber (Nd-BR) plant is located at Jurong Island, Singapore.
LANXESS has invested roughly EUR 200 million (SGD 350 million) in this facility which will produce 140,000 metric tons per annum. Approximately about 100 jobs have been created, most of which are filled by the local workforce.
Nd-BR is the most versatile of butadiene rubbers. It is part of a tire’s compound and reduces energy consumption more efficiently than many other tire rubbers. It also reduces tire abrasion, thus playing a significant role in making cars safer as well as more ecological and economical. Without it, tires would not be able to provide the same high level of low rolling resistance, durability and safety. Golf balls would not fly as far, running shoes would wear out faster.
The new plant helps meet strong demand for such “green tires”. It will also be situated next to LANXESS’ EUR 400 million butyl rubber (BTR) plant, which was opened in June 2013.
LANXESS conducted a feasibility study to evaluate potential locations for the plant in Asia. Singapore won due to a very good raw materials supply. Other arguments in favor of Singapore were its excellent infrastructure, pool of highly-skilled workforce, large sea port and close proximity to growth markets.