JSR will set up a large-scale tire rubber plant in Thailand, Southeast Asia’s largest tire producer. The company’s announcement comes at a time when rivals Sumitomo Chemical, Asahi Kasei, Zeon Corp., and Lanxess either have announced plans to build or are already building tire rubber plants in Singapore. JSR’s facility, to be built in Map Ta Phut, will produce solution-polymerized styrene-butadiene rubber (S-SBR) with a manufacturing capacity of between 50,000 and 100,000 metric tons per year. Local partner Bangkok Synthetics will have a 49% stake in the venture. The capacity will be decided within three months, a JSR spokeswoman tells C&EN. The companies are not saying how much they will spend on the plant, but the leading Japanese business newspaper, Nikkei, reported a likely expenditure of $245 million. JSR is already the world’s largest producer of S-SBR, with an existing capacity of 90,000 metric tons in Europe and Japan. The specialty material enables the manufacturing of fuel-efficient tires featuring both low roll resistance and high wet-gripping power.