Lanxess (Leverkusen, Germany) is building the world's largest plant for EPDM synthetic rubber in China. Among other applications, EPDM is used as an impact modifier for resins such as polypropylene, where it competes with polyolefin elastomers such as Tafmer from Mitsui Chemicals (Tokyo) and Engage from Dow Chemical (Midland, MI).
The German specialty chemicals company is investing EUR235 million in the plant in Changzhou (Jiangsu Province). This is the largest investment the company has made in China to date. The plant will have a capacity of 160,000 tonnes/year and is expected to start up in 2015.
Lanxess is the world's leading supplier of EPDM (ethylene propylene diene monomer) following the successful acquisition and integration of DSM Elastomers in 2011. It markets its products under the brand name Keltan. Global demand for EPDM is expected to increase by more than four percent per annum in the coming years, while demand in China is expected to grow by around eight percent, driven above all by automotive and construction industries. China will also continue to be the largest net importer of EPDM in the coming years....