• Modern facility for annual production of 170,000 bladders at Porto Feliz site;
• New facility for rubber additives in 2014;
• Investment of about EUR 10 million; 60 jobs created;
• German Federal President Joachim Gauck attends opening gala of “Year of Germany in Brazil”.
In Porto Feliz, the specialty chemicals company’s wholly-owned subsidiary Rhein Chemie has opened a new facility for high-performance bladders (curing bladders), which are used in the production of tires. It has an annual capacity of about 170,000 bladders. In 2014, a new facility to manufacture pre-dispersed polymer-bound rubber additives (Rhenogran), with a capacity of 1,800 metric tons per year, will be added. Altogether, LANXESS is investing some EUR 10 million and creating around 60 new jobs.
„With this investment in Brazil, the world’s sixth largest economy, we reaffirm our focus on the emerging markets. We want to share in the positive development of the automotive and tire industries in Latin America”, said Rainier van Roessel, Board Member of LANXESS.
More and more tire manufacturers are outsourcing bladder production in order to concentrate on their core business. The bladders made of butyl rubber, which LANXESS markets under the Rhenoshape brand, are inflated under high pressure and at high temperatures to give the tire its final shape. They have a much longer service life and thus can produce up to three times more tires. In addition to better productivity, the greatly improved thermal conductivity of the bladder compound and other factors boost the quality of the tire. This increases safety, reduces rolling resistance and thus fuel consumption.
Rhein Chemie entered the bladder market about two and a half years ago with the acquisition of the Argentinian company Darmex. With the purchase of U.S. company Tire Curing Bladders in 2012, Rhein Chemie is now the largest independent bladder manufacturer in the world.
Porto Feliz is a large site for LANXESS with 260 employees. Rhein Chemie has been producing rubber additives for ten years there. The business unit Inorganic Pigment also houses a production unit at the site and a new plant for high-tech engineering plastics is currently under construction and will be started up in the second half of 2013.
“Year of Germany in Brazil“
The opening day of the new plant in Porto Feliz is also the official start of the “Year of Germany in Brazil“. It will be celebrated with a gala concert of the “Young Euro Classic Orchestra Brazil-Germany” in São Paulo in the presence of German Federal President Joachim Gauck and LANXESS’ Chairman of the Management Board Axel C. Heitmann. The orchestra consisting of 35 German and 35 Brazilian musicians was founded for this very purpose. The “Young Euro Classic Orchestra Brazil-Germany” and the opening concerts in São Paulo are sponsored by LANXESS. The following tour across Brazil is an initiative of the Foreign Office, which is financing eight concerts. LANXESS is sponsoring four concerts in São Paulo (May 18), Porto Alegre (May 21), Rio de Janeiro (May 22) and Brasilia (May 27).
LANXESS in Brazil
Brazil is one of the fastest-growing markets for LANXESS. The country accounted for less than 1 percent of LANXESS’ global sales in 2005 but now accounts for roughly 10 percent of global sales. LANXESS became one of the largest chemical companies in Brazil following its acquisition of Petroflex in 2008 and now employs roughly 1,100 workers at seven sites. Marcelo Lacerda is Country Representative of LANXESS in Brazil.
LANXESS (lanxess.com) is a leading specialty chemicals company with sales of EUR 9.1 billion in 2012 and roughly 17,400 employees in 31 countries. The company is currently represented at 50 production sites worldwide. The core business of LANXESS is the development, manufacturing and marketing of plastics, rubber, intermediates and specialty chemicals. LANXESS is a member of the leading sustainability indices Dow Jones Sustainability Index (DJSI) World and FTSE4Good as well as the Carbon Disclosure Leadership Index (CDLI).