Leverkusen – LANXESS will expand the production capacity of its butyl rubber plant in Zwijndrecht, Belgium, by ten percent to meet growing global demand for regular butyl and halobutyl synthetic rubber.

The company will invest EUR 20 million to increase capacity by an extra 14,000 metric tons per year. The current capacity of the plant is about 135,000 metric tons per year. The expansion will mainly take place during a scheduled turnaround of the plant in the third quarter of 2011 and is expected to be completed in the second quarter of 2012.

The plant will produce a superior quality of butyl rubber, which underlines LANXESS’ standing as the global technology leader for synthetic rubber. “Overall demand for butyl rubber has returned to pre-crisis levels already this year,” said Axel C. Heitmann, Chairman of the Board of Management of LANXESS. “And in the coming decade, we expect demand to grow further so that the new capacities in Antwerp and from our upcoming plant in Singapore will be fully absorbed by the market.”

The new capacities will help serve the rising demand for tires that is being driven by the global mega-trend towards greater mobility. Especially the growing middle-class in emerging markets such as China and India are embracing this trend. In addition, the distinct properties of butyl rubber make it an important product of choice for the pharmaceutical industry, particularly in Asia.