Leverkusen/Sittard-Geleen - German specialty chemicals company LANXESS, the world's leading producer of synthetic rubber, has inaugurated the new headquarters of its Keltan Elastomers business unit in Sittard-Geleen in the Netherlands. With immediate effect the company is managing its global business for ethylene-propylene-diene monomer high-performance rubber (EPDM rubber), marketed under the Keltan brand, from the modern complex of buildings on the Chemelot Campus.
Werner Breuers, the member of the Board of Management of LANXESS AG, and Günther Weymans, head of the LANXESS Keltan Elastomers business unit, officially inaugurated the headquarters today at an opening ceremony. The celebration was attended by Twan Beurskens, Deputy for Economic Affairs for the Province of Limburg, Sjraar Cox, Mayor of Sittard-Geleen, Bert Kip, Managing Director of the Chemelot Campus, and some 70 additional guests from politics and business. With the new headquarters, LANXESS is bringing together major portions of the management, administration, production and R&D for its worldwide EPDM business under one roof at the Dutch site.
“Forward-looking technologies and innovative products are the business model and the cornerstone of LANXESS' success. With the acquisition of the elastomer business from Royal DSM N.V. two years ago and the creation of the new LANXESS Keltan Elastomers business unit with its headquarters in Sittard-Geleen, LANXESS has become the world's leading producer of EPDM rubber,” said Werner Breuers of the LANXESS Board of Management at the event.
Sittard-Geleen: center for EPDM high-performance rubber
“The opening of the new headquarters of our still young division marks the beginning of a new era for us,” said Günther Weymans, head of the Keltan Elastomers business unit. “The next chapter of our global success begins here in Sittard-Geleen. The innovative environment that already exists at the Chemelot Campus offers us optimal conditions to continue to build on our global success. The new headquarters also underlines our clear belief in this site.”
“The Province of Limburg congratulates LANXESS on the inauguration of its EPDM headquarters at the Chemelot Campus,” said Limburg's Provincial Deputy for Economic Affairs Twan Beurskens. “We are delighted about this because, as you know, the Province is strongly committed to further developing this campus.”
“We are very proud that LANXESS has chosen the Chemelot Campus as the location for the new headquarters of its Keltan Elastomers business unit and has been able to complete the project within only 12 months,” said Bert Kip, Managing Director of the Chemelot Campus. “LANXESS' most recent investments here show that the Chemelot Campus offers the chemical industry ideal conditions for research and development and the production of innovative products.”
LANXESS is investing EUR 12 million in the Dutch site to convert 50 percent of its EPDM production capacity to the innovative Keltan ACE technology. With ACE (Advanced Catalyst Elastomers) the amount of energy required for the production process can be significantly reduced compared to conventional technologies. The process also makes new types of EPDM possible. The expansion is proceeding on schedule and is expected to be completed by the middle of the year.
Modern office design promotes communication
For the new headquarters of the Keltan Elastomers business unit, offices, research labs, exhibition areas and conference rooms were constructed across a total area of 3,500 m2 and will be occupied by approximately 125 employees. Emphasis was placed on sustainable solutions in the architecture and the selection of materials. To conserve energy, for example, major portions of the lighting systems are controlled by motion sensors. The floor coverings are manufactured from a special, easily recyclable material. The handles on all the drawers in the building are also made of Keltan Eco, LANXESS' bio-based EPDM rubber. The large-scale use of glass demonstrates LANXESS' commitment to transparency in the truest sense of the word. The light-filled offices and short distances also promote communication among employees along with a general sense of well-being.
EPDM – integral to daily life
The EPDM rubber produced in Sittard-Geleen is used mainly in the automotive industry, as well as in the construction sector and in industrial and electronic articles. In vehicles, the synthetic rubber – which is characterized primarily by its resistance to heat, oxidation, chemicals and weathering, as well as good insulation properties – is used for everything from seals in auto bodies to coolant hoses under the hood.
In the construction sector, EPDM rubber is also used primarily as a sealing material – in profile seals for windows and doors, as a material to seal joints, for rubber sheets to cover flat roofs or in gaskets for roof structures made of plastic sheeting. EPDM is also integral in the home: for example, the gaskets on washing machines, bathroom fixtures and garden hoses are fabricated from high-performance rubber.
LANXESS expands EPDM business internationally
The LANXESS Keltan Elastomers business unit employs a total of approximately 700 people at its sites in the Netherlands, Germany, Brazil and the United States. Some 270 of them are based in Sittard-Geleen.
The company is currently investing EUR 235 million in the construction of the world's largest plant for the production of EPDM rubber in Changzhou, China. The plant is scheduled to begin operation in 2015, after which this plant alone will manufacture 160,000 metric tons of EPDM high-performance rubber annually. The project will create up to 200 new jobs.
Since late 2011 LANXESS has been producing Keltan Eco, the world's first bio-based EPDM rubber, from its Brazilian site in Triunfo. LANXESS accomplishes that by using ethylene produced entirely from the renewable raw material sugar cane. The company is therefore one of the first to respond to the growing demand for sustainably produced synthetic rubber and is also contributing to a reduction of CO2 emissions.
The Keltan Elastomers business unit belongs to the LANXESS Performance Polymers segment, which achieved total sales of EUR 5.2 billion in fiscal 2012.
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