Sumitomo secures natural rubber supply
Sumitomo Rubber Industries Ltd. will establish two joint venture companies with Thai Eastern Group Co. LTD. in Thailand. One will run a natural rubber plantation, the other a natural rubber processing plant.
The company says the joint ventures serve two main purposes:
1. to stabilize the quality and procurement of natural rubber for promotion of technology development of eco-tires.
2. to alleviate possible risk due to fluctuation in the price of natural rubber.
"Through establishment of these joint venture companies, Sumitomo Rubber will speed up its R&D activities to enhance the performance of fossil resource-free tires and high fuel-efficient tires to protect world environment," says the company.
The natural rubber plantation joint venture, Sumirubber Thai Eastern Plantation, will begin operations in 2014. Sumitomo Rubber will own 49% of the $13.5 million joint venture, which will employ approximately 10 people.
The natural rubber processing plant, Sumirubber Thai Eastern Corp., will start this year 2011. Sumitomo owns 70% of the $6.7 million joint venture, which will employ approximately 140 people.