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Ube establishes JV for synthetic rubber production in Malaysia  

By Gerald Ondrey |

Ube Industries, Ltd. (Ube; Tokyo, Japan; www.ube-ind.co.jp) has established a joint venture (JV) with Lotte Chemical Corp. (Seoul, South Korea), Lotte Chemical Titan Holding Sdn. Bhd. (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia), and Mitsubishi Corp. (Tokyo, Japan) to manufacture and market butadiene rubber (BR) in Johor, Malaysia. The move is in response to growing demand for BR in the Asia region. The JV will be licensed manufacturing technology from Ube Industries, and will construct manufacturing facilities capable of producing 50,000 metric tons (m.t.) of BR annually. Lotte Chemical Titan Holding of the Lotte Chemical Group will supply the JV with raw material butadiene, with manufacturing scheduled to start in 2014. In addition, the JV has plans to add a further 22,000 m.t./yr of production capacity as demand dictates. The main applications for BR are for use in tires, high impact polystyrene (HIPS), and shoe soles. Demand for BR is expected to grow by some 6–7% in the future, centering on the Asian market which is the biggest market for BR. In the tire market, many BR users centering on major tire manufacturers are moving ahead with plans to increase their production capacity in the Asia region. Ube Industries maintains a global framework…
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