Bridgestone Develops Technology to Spot Disease in Rubber Trees

Bridgestone Corp. (TYO:5108) has developed a simple technique for diagnosing white root rot disease. Caused by the plant pathogen Rigidoporus microporus, the disease affects para rubber trees, a source of natural rubber. Bridgestone aims to contribute to para rubber tree conservation efforts and a stable supply of natural rubber. The new technique applies a biotech method called loop-mediated isothermal amplification,...

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Mitsui Chemicals—High Expectations for New EPDM Grade

Mitsui Chemicals Inc. (TYO:4183) achieved a strong performance in the first half of fiscal 2015 (April–September) for EPDM (ethylene propylene diene terpolymer) rubber. Contributing factors were a weak yen and low naphtha prices. Shanghai Sinopec Mitsui Elastomers Co. Ltd. (SSME), Mitsui Chemicals’ joint venture for EPDM production in China that went onstream at the end of 2014, started up again in...

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Interview With Zeon—Update on Singapore Plant

Hiroyuki Hirakawa, director and senior corporate officer, head of Elastomers and Chemicals Business Headquarters, and division manager–Synthetic Rubber of Zeon Corp. (TYO:4205), commented on the recent state of Zeon Chemicals Singapore Pte. Ltd. He said that the company’s production facilities will be in full operation while addressing the necessary mechanical and equipment issues until the plant is fully ramped up. Hirakawa...

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Interview With Zeon—Acrylic Rubber in Full Production

Hiroyuki Hirakawa, director and senior corporate officer, head of Elastomers and Chemicals Business Headquarters, and division manager–Synthetic Rubber, Zeon Corp. (TYO:4205), spoke about his company’s strategy. According to Hirakawa, specialty rubber is Zeon’s mainstay. The company’s acrylic rubber (AR) is in full production. Total output, however, has not been growing as anticipated because the grades with increasing shipment volumes are...

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Bridgestone CEO Appointed Honorary Investment Advisor to Thailand BOI

Bridgestone Corp. CEO and chairman of the board Masaaki Tsuya has been appointed as Honorary Investment Advisor to the Thailand Board of Investment (BOI). The position was established to assist the BOI in promoting Thailand as an attractive investment destination to Southeast Asia and the world. The appointment is in recognition of the Bridgestone group’s contributions to Thailand’s development from...

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Asahi Kasei S-SBR Sales Strong

Asahi Kasei Chemicals Corp. sales volume for solution styrene butadiene rubber (S-SBR) increased over the previous year during the first half of fiscal 2015 (April-September). The Chinese economy and falling automobile sales during the first half had a negative effect on the rubber industry, while Asian tire manufacturers adjusted their production prior to the summer. Even so, an Asahi Kasei...

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