Styron to Expand its S-SBR Facility in Germany

The German manufacturing giant, Styron has completed the expansion of its S-SBR plant at Schkopau resulting in a new increased capacity of 160,000 tons per year at the plant. The expansion began in May 2011 and the facility was online in late 2012 which involved the addition of a production line beside the two existing lines.styron_logo

S-SBR is primarily used in the manufacturing of high performance tire treads due to its ability to reduce rolling resistance and provide superior wet grip. The low rolling resistance results in increased fuel efficiency and lower carbon dioxide emission. Moreover, S-SBR is also used in variety of applications such as footwear, adhesive, belts and other industrial products. The expansion has added 50,000 tons per year to the Schkopau facility in light of the global growing SSBR demand. The cost of the project was USD 125 million and resulted in 30 new jobs in addition to the existing 500 already working at the Schkopau and Böhlen plant.

Styron was part of the Dow Chemical Company until 2010 before selling the majority stake to Bain Capital for USD 1.63 billion. Styron was formed as part of the disinvestment in polystyrene and rubber businesses. However, Dow still owns the Schkopau site along with 7.5% stake in Styron.

The SSBR production plant under the Dow Chemical Company was established in Schkopau in 2002 and its second production line construction began in June 2007 with its operations beginning in March 2009. Styron Europe has signed a capacity right agreement with Japan Synthetic Rubber (JSR) Corporation according to which JSR owns 50 % of the total 60,000 tons production capacity of this line.

The third production line expansion of SSBR was done by Styron at the Schkopau site rather than at its Böhlen site because of the ready availability of logistics support and Dow support for infrastructure and other utilities. The raw materials styrene & butadiene were supplied from the Böhlen site. Styrene and butadiene undergo anionic batch polymerization to form SSBR.

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I am Sharmishtha. I have completed my graduation in Physics and Photography from Fergusson College, Pune. I am currently working as a research associate in Europlat.Org.

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