February 21, 2008
Asahi Kasei Chemicals Corp.

Expansion of capacity for S-SBR
– modified synthetic rubber for high-performance silica-compound tires –
Asahi Kasei Chemicals (AKC) will increase annual production capacity for solution-polymerized styrene-butadiene rubber (S-SBR) by 10,000 tons at its plant in Kawasaki, Japan, with start-up scheduled for April 2009.

With increasingly stringent regulation of environmental emissions and high fuel costs, demand for tires that provide improved fuel efficiency is rising throughout the world. One fast-growing segment of the market is for silica-compound tires that provide exceptional braking and handling performance as well as fuel efficiency. The additional capacity announced today will be for modified S-SBR for such high-performance silica-compound tires.

AKC's continuous-polymerization S-SBR technology is widely recognized among the world's leading tire manufacturers for the outstanding polymer terminal modification it enables in product grades designed specifically for use in silica-compound tires. Demand for these modified S-SBR products, including new grades featuring greater modification effects, is forecast for strong growth worldwide. Together with an April 2008 expansion of capacity by 10,000 tons/year in Oita, Japan, for modified S-SBR for extremely fuel-efficient tires, the capacity expansion in Kawasaki will enable AKC to increase supply in line with this growing demand.

These capacity increases for modified S-SBR are in accordance with AKC's strategic focus on synthetic rubber operations as a key field of expansion, with exceptional process technology to drive the development of a growing lineup of innovative products that meet demanding performance requirements. Further additions of capacity from 2010 and onward are now being planned, including the establishment of new production bases in high-growth markets in Asia.
Outline of the capacity expansion
Kawasaki Works of Asahi Kasei Chemicals
Increase by 10,000 tons/year (total for all synthetic rubber and elastomer rising to 230,000 tons/year; 168,000 tons/year in Kawasaki and 62,000 tons/year in Oita following April 2008 expansion)
April 2009


Adobe Readeris required to view these PDF files.

page top