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Synthos Shutting Synthetic Rubber Facility in Czech Republic

Polish manufacturer says unpredictable costs in Europe 'forcing permanent ESBR capacity reduction'


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Oswiecim, Poland – Synthetic rubber major Synthos is closing the emulsion styrene butadiene rubber (ESBR) line at its Kralupy nad Vltavou site in the Czech Republic, the company has announced.


Explaining the decision, Synthos said an "unsustainable and unpredictable utility costs in Europe" had led to to an "unsustainable market environment" for ESBR.


The Kralupy plant has a capacity to produce 110 kilotonnes per annum (ktpa) of ESBR and its permanent closure will reduce Synthos’ total ESBR capacity to 320ktpa.


In September last year, Synthos announced that it was cutting ESBR production by 100ktpa "until further notice" in the face of rising utility costs.


The latest decision to “indefinitely cease production of ESBR” at Kralupy was linked to predictions that gas price volatility will continue, according to the company's 2 March statement.


The closure move follows "careful consideration, particularly in light of expert forecasts on the cost situation of the chemical industry in Europe," said Matteo Marchisio, business unit director, synthetic rubber.


"Our transition plan ensures a smooth transition for our customers, whom we will supply from one of our other ESBR plants in Europe," the Synthos executive added.


Despite the reduction, Synthos said it remained “the largest producer of ESBR in Europe”, with 190ktpa of ESBR manufacturing capacity at its site in Oswiecim, Poland and 130ktpa in Schkopau, Germany.


ESBR is used primarily in tire applications as well as in conveyor belts, shoe soles, hose, roller coverings and flooring.


In the statement, Synthos said it will continue to "carefully monitor the development of utility and feedstock costs in the region."


The decision, it added, does not affect the production and development of other types of synthetic rubber across Synthos' facilities, including the production of butadiene rubber in Kralupy.

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