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Lanxess to Boost Capacity for Rubber Used in Green Tires

LANXESS has announced plans to expand the global capacity of its high-performance rubber Neodymium Polybutadiene (Nd-PBR). LANXESS will invest about EUR 20 million to increase production by an additional 50,000 metric tons per year at its sites in Dormagen/Germany, Orange/USA and Cabo/Brazil. The extra capacities will go on stream between the first quarter of 2011 and first quarter of 2012.

Among other factors, LANXESS pointed to new European regulations that were approved in November 2009 that stipulate that by November 2012 new tires sold in Europe have to be labeled for fuel efficiency, wet grip and external rolling noise. According to LANXESS,

The aim of the legislation is to reduce CO2 and noise emissions by promoting green tires that do not compromise on safety. In addition, the labels will provide more transparency to consumers and aid them in their purchase decisions. The tires are to be categorized in a system of classes, with the best performance being labeled “Class A” and the poorest “Class G”. Tire makers in Japan are voluntarily introducing tire labels from the beginning of 2010, while the USA is also evaluating similar labeling regulations.
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