LANXESS NBR Center to develop high-quality products
German specialty chemicals group LANXESS officially opened its new research and development center for synthetic rubber and a new administrative building at its French site in La Wantzenau (Alsace). The group has invested more than EUR 5 million in the new buildings.
This investment further strengthens La Wantzenau as a global production location for the synthetic rubber NBR (nitrile-butadiene rubber). In 2007, LANXESS decided to transfer all NBR production operations to La Wantzenau and turn it into the world's largest NBR production site. At the beginning of this year, the group also moved its research and development activities from Germany to La Wantzenau.
“Combining our research and development activities for NBR in La Wantzenau will in the future further boost our ability to develop innovative and sophisticated high-quality products that are geared to our customers' specific requirements. This will ensure the success of our strategy and improve our global competitiveness,” explains Günther Weymans, head of the Technical Rubber Products business unit at LANXESS.
The total area set aside for quality control and research and development is 600 m2, while the new administrative building covers an area of 2,200 m2. The buildings significantly lower operating costs and also achieve energy savings of 90 percent thanks to a heat pump and solar cells. “The ongoing improvement of environmental protection is one of the fundamental aspects of our corporate philosophy. The La Wantzenau site is playing its part in the global corporate strategy of sustainable production,” adds Weymans. Some EUR 25 million has been invested over the past three years, a third of this targeted directly at safety and the environment.
The La Wantzenau site
The synthetic rubber produced in La Wantzenau is used to make products such as cables, seals, hoses, blankets for printing presses and soles for safety and sports shoes. The most important markets are the automotive industry, the construction sector, and the oil and gas production and processing industries.
The site has a workforce of 315 and manufactures 70 standard and specialty products that are supplied to around 600 customers in 25 different countries. More than 60 percent of products manufactured are exported to non-European countries, primarily in Asia.
The Technical Rubber Products business unit is part of the Performance Polymers segment, which generated sales in 2009 of EUR 2,388 million.
LANXESS is a leading specialty chemicals company with sales of EUR 5.06 billion in 2009 and currently around 14,300 employees in 23 countries. The company is represented at 42 production sites worldwide. The core business of LANXESS is the development, manufacturing and marketing of plastics, rubber, intermediates and specialty chemicals.