Lanxess grows in China

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Lanxess is investing €25 million in China to create a new high-tech plastics production facility and a new technical rubber products technology centre.

From 2006, the chemicals group


will launch production of high-tech engineering plastics in


. The Semi Crystalline Products business unit (SCP) is investing €20 million in new production facilities at the


site to produce high-tech plastics, creating up to 100 new jobs.

“Demand in China for high-tech plastics is growing at a double-digit percentage rate each year,” said Dr. Axel C. Heitmann, Chairman of the Board of Management of Lanxess, in Shanghai. “Thanks to the new plant, we’ll be increasing sales of our high-performance polymers Durethan and Pocan by 50 percent in the next five years.”

Approximately 20,000 tons of Pocan and Durethan will be produced each year at the Lanxess Wuxi Chemicals site, roughly 120 kilometres north-west of Shanghai, once the first section of the plant has been commissioned in 2006.

Market growth for Pocan and Durethan in Asia currently stands at around eight percent, and in China at 13 percent. High-tech engineering plastics are used in the automotive industry, electrical engineering, electronics and the domestic sector.

China is becoming increasingly important for us as a technology location as well,” said Dr. Heitmann, commenting the investment of €5 million in a new Technology Center in Shanghai for the Technical Rubber Products business unit. With this targeted investment and the transfer of the Technology Center from Singapore to Shanghai, Lanxess will be able to meet the needs of the market and its customers even more effectively, he said.

The Technical Rubber Products Business Unit of Lanxess is a globally operating supplier of specialty elastomers for the rubber processing industry. The broad product range is tailored to meet the requirements of a variety of applications in industries such as automotive engineering, construction and electronics.

In addition to these new operations, other projects are currently running in China. Lanxess says it is strengthening its position in the Chinese tyre market in a joint venture to produce rubber chemicals with Chinese partner TongFeng and established chemicals producer Xinda. The joint venture is scheduled to start production in the second half of 2006.

Similarly, a joint venture with Weifang Yaxing Chemical Company is enabling Lanxess to become a leading company in the Chinese hydrazine hydrate market. As part of this venture, a complete production plant was dismantled in the


and shipped to


. It is currently being constructed in Weifang in


province. Production of hydrazine hydrate should begin by the end of 2005.