Petronas Chemicals, LG Chem to build nitrile butadiene latex plant

KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 24 — Petronas Chemicals Group Bhd (PCG) and LG Chem Ltd have inked an agreement to build a nitrile butadiene latex manufacturing plant at Pengerang Integrated Complex (PIC) in Johor.

PCG said the manufacturing plant would be targeting the growing nitrile glove market and further strengthen Malaysia’s position as the largest exporter of gloves globally.

“Construction of the plant will begin in 2021 while production is scheduled to start in 2023. It will have an annual NBL production capacity of 200,000 tonnes when completed,” it said in a statement today.

PCG managing director/chief executive officer Datuk Sazali Hamzah said the partnership marked a strategic step in developing the group’s speciality chemicals portfolio, underpinning its position as a leading integrated chemicals producer in Malaysia.

“It provides a compelling entry point into the growing NBL-based products and enables PCG to enhance its presence in attractive end-markets, especially for personal care and healthcare, mainly in the Asia-Pacific region,” he said.

PCG is moving into segments with higher growth potential with more speciality chemicals in its portfolio, he added.

NBL is a synthetic rubber that uses butadiene as the main feedstock and is a core raw material in making nitrile gloves, which is widely used in industries such as healthcare, medical, and food, among others, to complement the existing natural rubber gloves due to its excellent intensity and chemical-resistance features.

Nitrile gloves usage has seen a rapid growth recently due to the Covid-19 pandemic, with demand rising at an annual average of more than 10 per cent, and is expected to account for 70 per cent of the entire latex gloves market in 2024. — Bernama

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