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JSR Has Decided to Manufacture Solution Polymerization Styrene-Butadiene Rubber (S-SBR) in Hungary

CORPORATE  11/22/2013
November 22, 2013 - Tokyo, Japan - JSR Corporation (Head office: Minato-ku, Tokyo, President: Mitsunobu Koshiba) has reached an agreement with MOL Hungarian Oil and Gas Public Limited Company(MOL) to establish a joint venture in Hungary and construct a new plant to manufacture solution polymerization styrene-butadiene rubber (S-SBR). The establishment of the joint venture is subject to obtaining the necessary clearance from the relevant competition authorities.

The joint venture will be incorporated with 51% of the total shares held by JSR and 49% held by MOL. The new plant capacity will be 60,000 tons per annum, with the sales launch scheduled for 2017. A capacity expansion is under investigation and will be implemented in accordance with the demand increase of S-SBR.

Located in Hungary, Central Europe, the joint venture has advantages in access to Western Europe, a focal point for major tire manufacturers, as well as to Central-Eastern Europe, Russia, and Turkey, where the expansion of tire production is expected. Furthermore, some major tire manufacturers have already commenced their operations in Hungary. Meanwhile, as an oil and gas company representing Central-Eastern Europe, MOL can stably provide the joint venture with raw materials of S-SBR. Utilizing MOL's plant infrastructures and our S-SBR production technologies and sales networks, we will establish joint management in order to take care of the expansion of demand.

Featuring a characteristic molecular structure, our S-SBR is highly valued both domestically and internationally as a raw material of a fuel-efficient tire known as an "eco-friendly tire," due to its excellent industry-leading properties suited to fuel-efficient tires and wet grip performance. The market of S-SBR is currently observing the tightening regulations on automobile fuel consumption and CO2 emissions on a global basis, the dissemination of a rating system for fuel efficiency of tires in Japan, Europe, and Korea, and the expected introduction of such a rating system in many other countries in the future. With this as a background, the demand for S-SBR for fuel-efficient tires is expected to expand.

Striving to respond to such a demand, this year, our group has commenced operation of a plant with an annual production capacity of 50,000 tons at our joint venture in Thailand, JSR BST Elastomer Co., Ltd. Moreover, we are planning to enhance the production capacity to 100,000 tons per year in 2016 after the second phase of the increase of manufacturing capacity.

The creation of a new business base in Hungary at this time means that we will develop bases in three locations, Japan, Thailand, and Europe, which will enable us to establish an optimum supply system for customers all over the world. By utilizing these capacities, we will continue to strive to promote global expansion of our business.

< Overview of the Joint Venture and New Plant >
Name of the joint venture : Not decided yet
Investment ratio : JSR 51% and MOL 49%
Plant location : Tiszaújváros, Borsod-Abaúj-Zemplén County, Hungary
Product : Solution polymerization styrene-butadiene rubber (S-SBR)
Production capacity : 60,000 tons per year
Scheduled sales launch : 2017

< Overview of the Join Venture Partner >
MOL Group is the leading independent, international and integrated oil and gas company in Central-Eastern Europe, headquartered in Budapest. MOL Group has a market capitalization of over USD 7bn. The company has operations in Europe, the Middle East, Africa and the CIS states. MOL Group employs 28.000 people worldwide. MOL has 5 highly complex refineries in Hungary, Slovakia, Croatia and Italy and operates more than 1700 filling stations in Central and South Eastern Europe and North-Italy. At the end of 2012 MOL had 647 million boe proved and probable hydrocarbon reserves and 115 thousand boe/day hydrocarbon production. MOL Group has interests in the gas-midstream business and is involved in the petrochemical business, too.
Further information: www.mol.hu