LANXESS and TSRC to create rubber joint venture in China

50 million USD joint investment in new plant
Production of NBR to begin H1, 2012
Chinese NBR market showing double-digit growth
100 local jobs to be created

Shanghai/Taipei/Leverkusen – Germany’s LANXESS and Taiwan’s TSRC Corporation will enter into a 50:50 joint venture in Greater China called LANXESS-TSRC (Nantong) Chemical Industrial Company Ltd. The two companies are jointly investing 50 million USD (EUR 36 million) in a new plant that will produce Nitrile Rubber (NBR) in Nantong, northwest of Shanghai. The plant will have an initial capacity of 30,000 metric tons per year and serve the rapidly growing Chinese market with high-quality grades of NBR.

Groundbreaking is scheduled for September 2010, and production is expected to start up in the first half of 2012. The marketing activities of the joint venture will begin in the summer of 2010. The joint venture will serve Chinese customers with NBR produced at LANXESS’ La Wantzenau site in France – the world’s largest NBR site – until the Nantong plant starts up.

“The Chinese NBR market is the fastest growing in the world, boasting double-digit growth rates,” said Werner Breuers, Member of LANXESS’ Management Board. “The partnership brings us a step closer to our customers and opens the door to further tie-ups in the emerging Asian market in the future.”

“The partnership is a win-win combination. It brings together TSRC’s long-history of engineering and production know-how in China with LANXESS’ marketing and technical expertise in synthetic rubber,” said TSRC’s CEO Wei-Hua Tu.

The Nantong Economic and Technological Development Zone is located in Jiangsu province and is the home to many chemical, textile and electronic companies. It is located alongside China's coastline and the estuary of the Yangtze River. The investment will create 100 local jobs at the NBR plant – the most modern of its kind in Asia. Up to 500 people will be working during the construction phase. Clearance for the joint venture from the relevant anti-trust authorities is expected by the end of July 2010.

TSRC currently operates highly cost-efficient emulsion styrene-butadiene rubber (ESBR), polybutadiene rubber (BR) and thermoplastic elastomer (TPE) plants in Nantong and is one of the largest synthetic rubber producers in Asia. The products are sold under the tradename, Taipol®. TSRC posted sales of USD 700 million in 2009 and currently employs 1,100 people worldwide. In addition to its Nantong site, TSRC has production plants in Shanghai and Jinan in China as well as in Taiwan and Thailand.

LANXESS is the world’s largest producer of synthetic rubber and the world’s largest producer of NBR. Its products sold under the brand names Perbunan®, Krynac®, Baymod® and Nanoprene® are part of LANXESS’ Technical Rubber Products business unit (TRP). The products have a higher resistance to oil than conventional rubbers. They also demonstrate a better resistance to ozone, UV light, hot air and long-term aging. NBR is used in a wide-range of applications such as seals, hoses for hydraulics and pneumatics, rubber gloves, elastic threads, as well as blankets for print cylinders and rolls.

TRP has production sites in Leverkusen, Dormagen, Marl (Germany), La Wantzenau (France), Orange (United States) and is part of LANXESS’ Performance Polymers segment, which recorded sales of EUR 2.38 billion in 2009.

With approximately 1,000 employees and five production sites, LANXESS achieved total sales in Greater China of EUR 584 million in 2009