September 5, 2012 / 6:30 AM / 5 years ago

Germany's Lanxess to build 235 mln eur rubber plant in China

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FRANKFURT, Sept 5 (Reuters) - Synthetic rubber specialist Lanxess of Germany plans to spend 235 million euros ($295 million) on a new plant in China to tap growth in the world's largest car market, it said on Wednesday.

The new facility at the Changzhou Yangtze Riverside Industrial Park is slated to go on stream in 2015 and will have an annual output capacity of 160,000 tonnes of ethylene propylene diene monomer (EPDM), a substance mainly used in door sealants and windscreen wipers.

Lanxess, the world's largest maker of synthetic rubber, is banking on long-term growth of the burgeoning auto industry in Asia, seeking proximity to global tyre makers who are expanding production there.

But the planned rubber investment comes at a time of deepening concern over China's growth prospects. The nation's manufacturing sector has been badly hit by slowing new orders, two surveys showed earlier this week, a sign that the pace of growth in the world's second-largest economy will weaken well into the third quarter.

Lanxess last month predicted flat earnings in the second half on weakness in Europe and slower growth in Asia but stopped short of curtailing its full-year outlook.

$1 = 0.7961 euros Reporting by Ludwig Burger; editing by James Jukwey

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