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Kumho Petrochemical accelerates its drive in expanding synthetic rubber business
2012.10.15 10:03:48 | 2012.10.15 16:00:00
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South Korea’s Kumho Petrochemical announced Sunday that it is mulling over boosting its solution styrene-butadiene rubber (SSBR) output by 100,000 tons (t) by the first half (H1) of 2014.

[Kumho Petrochemical accelerates its drive in expanding synthetic rubber business] 기사의 본문 이미지


SSBR is a synthetic rubber product that contains core eco-friendly properties required by a new tire labeling policy. SSBR features good rolling resistance and wet grip, which make it an appropriate material for car tires. The EU plans to introduce the labeling policy to its market next month and the US, Japan and Korea are expected to join the move soon afterwards.

When Kumho completes increasing its output, it will have secured the world’s largest output by 2014, with its combined capacity reaching 184,000 t. Earlier, Kumho had planned to secure 180,000 t in combined SSBR production capacity by 2015. However, as Germany-based Lanxess, China’s Sinopec, and Japan’s JSR made massive investments in the SSBR business, Kumho moved up the expansion plan by over a year.

The global SSBR market stood at 4.5 trillion won ($4.05 billion) last year. Kumho projected that the global SSBR market will grow six percent on an annual average to reach 7.5 trillion won by 2020.

Meanwhile, Kumho Polychem, one of Kumho Petrochemical’s subsidiaries, also moved up its investment schedule by a year. Kumho Polychem plans to expand its ethylene propylene diene monomer (EPDM) output by 60,000 t by the end of 2014. EPDM is special synthetic rubber that exhibits good strength and chemical resistance. EPDM is mainly used in producing car bumpers, which requires high elasticity / strength and tubes for washing machines and cables for ships, all of which need strong resistance to detergent and seawater.

Kumho Polychem has been increasing its EPDM output by 60,000 t and it plans to additionally expand its output by 60,000 t.

[Written by Gyeong-jin Lee - Ha’eun Bang/edited by Soyoung Chung]



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