News Release

Styrolution fuels R&D with launch of SBC pilot plant


Frankfurt, Germany


  • New pilot production plant in Antwerp will produce all of Styrolution's styrene-butadiene copolymer (SBC) grades, while offering flexibility for the production of other polymer types
  • Launch of the plant enhances Styrolution's R&D capabilities
  • Pilot plant empowers Styrolution to continue advancing its offerings in speciality styrenics and new application development

Frankfurt, Germany – February 4, 2015 – Committed to enhancing global supply security while amplifying R&D capabilities, Styrolution, the global leader in styrenics, recently launched a pilot styrene-butadiene copolymer (SBC) plant in Antwerp. The new plant will produce all of Styrolution's SBC grades and includes capabilities for the processing of other polymer types.

An identical but scaled-down version of the larger production SBC plant (65 kt) in Antwerp, the pilot plant will be used to conduct R&D experiments, empowering customers to more easily and efficiently produce sufficient amounts of materials for in-house analysis and product testing. Additionally, the pilot plant will support daily commercial plant operations and will help to enhance specialty styrenics, such as Styrolux and Styroflex.

Key points:

  • Innovative approach to R&D and production: Reflective of the entrepreneurial spirit and commitment to collaboration intrinsic to Styrolution, the pilot plant is the first of its design for the company
  • Generating customer value through production: The launch of the new Antwerp SBC pilot plant furthers Styrolution's commitment to collaborative innovation with customers. Through the facility, Styrolution and customers will be able to more easily and economically produce new material solutions for testing and application development. As a result, customers have the opportunity to better innovate, hasten the product development timeline and save costs – creating a significant competitive advantage. The plant will also empower Styrolution to uncover new applications for its material solutions.
  • Expert leadership drives innovative solutions: The new pilot plant is the result of collaboration and strategy development from several Styrolution production and copolymer experts. The pilot plant will be overseen by a small team onsite.
  • Leveraging production to advance the "Triple Shift" growth strategy: The launch of the new pilot plant focused on styrenic specialties also supports Styrolution's "Triple Shift" growth strategy, which calls for a focus on styrenic specialties and ABS Standard, higher-growth industries and growth in emerging markets. The plant allows customers across industries and throughout the world greater access to specialty materials, while creating a new location for R&D exploration related to new applications and material solutions.


Marcela Villegas, Director of Product Management, Transparent Specialties, Styrolution: "Specialty styrenics are essential to those customers –who rely on them to deliver product excellence and exceptional value. They are also core to our growth strategy. The development of this pilot plant not only allows us to benefit our customers through continual product improvement, but also empowers our customers to experience, test and implement the value inherent to Styrolution's specialty materials – helping them to better and more quickly develop and deliver the products their consumers demand."

Norbert Niessner, Global Head of Research and Development, Styrolution: "Innovation and entrepreneurial drive are central to Styrolution's DNA – and this spirit extends into our approach to production. Given the R&D possibilities enabled by the SBC pilot plant, Styrolution is able to take our approach to collaborative innovation to a new level."

Rudy Verstraeten, SBC Pilot Plant Project Leader, Styrolution: "We are very excited to further enhance Styrolution's global supply availability and R&D capabilities with the development and launch of this plant. This plant was developed in response to our customers' need for greater opportunities to test and experiment with our styrenic solutions. By implementing this unique solution to scaling production, we are also helping our customers identify new solutions to meet their industry's trends and needs."