Michelin and Barito Pacific Group are to produce natural, eco-friendly rubber in a new joint venture. The project will involve the reforestation of three concessions in Indonesia, representing a total surface area of 88,000 hectares that has been ravaged by uncontrolled deforestation.
Half of these areas will be used for the planting of rubber trees, which will produce approximately 80,000 tons of natural rubber per annum. Plantations will be situated in the provinces of Jambi, Sumatra and North-East Kalimantan-Timur, Borneo. The other half will be earmarked for re-creating a natural environment and community crops.
Michelin will contribute US$55m toward the project, which will ultimately create more than 16,000 direct or indirect long-term and stable local jobs.
In the framework of promoting practices of sustainable natural rubber production, Michelin has also entered into a long-term cooperation with the World Wildlife Fund (WWF). The four-year partnership comprises three facets consisting of: a global partnership involving the promotion of best practices in rubber tree plantation and the extraction and transformation of latex; a partnership with WWF France and Panda WWF Indonesia for researching and establishing the best possible solutions in the plantation zones; and a targeted partnership with the WWF France Foundation involving protection, conservation and restoration operations for the fauna and flora within and around the concession zones.
For a feature on natural rubber, see the upcoming issue of Tire Technology International.
May 19, 2015