With the commissioning of its latest nitrile latex expansion in Pasir Gudang, Synthomer, a world leader in the manufacture and supply of nitrile latex, has taken yet another major step forward in supporting the rapidly growing rubber glove manufacturing industry in Malaysia and elsewhere
Aglittering inaugural ceremony, marked the opening of Synthomer’s latest nitrile latex expansion at its facility in Pasir Gudang. Building on its long history of investment and growth in Malaysia, this latest facility of Synthomer, a world leader in the manufacture and supply of nitrile latex, will help the company to further support the rapidly growing rubber glove manufacturing industry in Malaysia and further afield. The expansion was first announced in June 2017, as the site in Pasir Gudang took delivery of Synthomer’s latest technology innovation, the world’s largest Nitrile Butadiene Rubber Latex reactor.
Ongoing innovation and investment
Synthomer has had a presence in Malaysia for nearly 100 years and now employs more than 700 people across four manufacturing facilities in Johor and at its Asia Pacific Regional Headquarters in Kuala Lumpur. Synthomer has invested more than RM 1 billion in the last 15 years and this latest expansion involves a further investment of RM 270 million
“We are delighted to be holding this opening event to celebrate the completion of almost two years of work to deliver 90,000 tonnes per annum of new capacity. This is a 50% increase in the installed capacity at our Pasir Gudang facility and I am very happy that we were able to deliver this in a very safe way with over 1.4 million man hours worked without any injury, at a time when the current plant was running at maximum output,” said Derick Whyte, Executive Vice President, Asia on the occasion.
“This is no mean achievement and is a credit to the professionalism of both our Project and Operations teams. We remain confident about future growth in NBR Latex and are already planning the next phase of expansion which will take the plant to 350,000 tonnes per annum to ensure that Synthomer continues to meet customers’ increasing demand for more of our NBR Latex as global glove demand continues to grow,” he added.
Meeting the industry needs
The Malaysian rubber glove manufacturing industry has seen unprecedented growth over the last decade and Synthomer has continued to invest in new capacity and product innovation to meet the needs of the glove manufacturers.
“The market for rubber gloves is growing significantly around the world and the manufacture and supply of those gloves is dominated by our customers here in Malaysia and South-East Asia. This latest investment will enable Synthomer to produce its latest high-strength 4th Generation products on a large scale, meeting the technical demands and growth required here in Malaysia,” said Jason Davies, Director of the Health and Protection Strategic Business Unit
Davies went on to say, “Synthomer has the broadest product offering and widest process capability with three manufacturing plants in the Synthomer NBR latex network — two in Malaysia and one in Italy. This broad process capability allows Synthomer to manufacture the widest range of products in the industry, meeting a broad array of the global glove manufacturer’s requirements.”
“Our most recent innovation, SyNovus, offers a range of unique product benefits meeting both the glove consumers’ and glove manufacturers’ needs. This new innovation reduces the level of chemical additives in the product, aimed at reducing skin reaction for some users, and has the added benefit of reducing the amount of energy required in the manufacturing process, reducing the carbon footprint of gloves produced using the SyNovus latex. This product will be produced on a large scale in the future at this new expansion in Pasir Gudang,” he added.
Global perspective with local market expertise
Synthomer is one of the world’s major suppliers of latices and specialty emulsion polymers supporting leadership positions in many markets including coatings, construction, textiles, paper, and synthetic latex gloves.
Synthomer is a FTSE 250-listed company headquartered in London, UK, with a group revenue of £1.5 billion. Today it employs 2,800 people in its manufacturing plants, technology centres and sales offices in Europe, the Middle East, Asia and the US. Synthomer provides customer-focused services from regional centres in Harlow, UK; Marl, Germany; and Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.