German specialty chemicals company Lanxess said it will convert production of emulsion styrene butadiene rubber (E-SBR) used in standard tires to solution styrene butadiene rubber (S-SBR) used in high-performance "green tires" at its site in Triunfo, in Brazil*s southern Rio Grande do Sul state.
The future capacity for S-SBR in Triunfo will be 110,000t/y, the same as the site's current E-SBR capacity.
The switch in production technology represents an investment of 80mn euros (US$104mn) which will be financed from the company's cash flow.
The plant will produce the latest grades of S-SBR at the end of 2014.
A regular supply of E-SBR to customers will be maintained from the company's plant in Duque de Caxias in Rio de Janeiro.
Lanxess said the Brazilian government aims to implement tire labeling, modeled on the EU standards, as of October 2016.
Brazil accounted for less than 1% of Lanxess's global sales in 2005 but now accounts for roughly 10%.