TOKYO (August 2, 2012) - Today, Bridgestone Corporation
(BSJ) announced that locations for a guayule research farm
and associated process research center have been selected.
This project is being accomplished by Bridgestone Americas
Tire Operations (BATO) in collaboration with BSJ. BATO has
completed acquisition of a 281-acre agricultural site in
Eloy, Ariz., to serve as the base of its agricultural
research operation. This research farm will supply guayule
for the company's process research center that is
planned for nearby Mesa, Ariz.
"This was an important step in the realization of our
guayule research activities, and we are excited to have
found a base of operations for our researchers," said
Bill Niaura, Director of New Business Development for
Bridgestone Americas, Inc. "Every step we take brings
us closer to our ultimate goal of developing new, domestic
and sustainable sources for natural rubber; we look forward
to breaking ground and getting started soon."
The research farm will include a multi-purpose
office/laboratory building, greenhouses and a farming
operation that is positioned to optimize guayule as a
commercial crop that produces tire-grade rubber and
complements the existing agricultural landscape.
Groundbreaking is anticipated in the third quarter of 2012.
The process research center, anticipated to be built in
nearby Mesa, will be home to a staff of 32 researchers and
technicians and to the process that converts the guayule
shrub into tire-grade rubber. Groundbreaking for the
research center is planned to take place in early 2013. The
facility is expected to be fully operational in 2014, with
trial rubber production starting in 2015.
In March of this year, BSJ announced the Bridgestone
Group's plans for an extensive research project in the
United States dedicated to developing Guayule as a
commercially viable, renewable source of high-quality
natural rubber and as an alternative to the Hevea tree.
BSJ is providing the funding and strategic input for the
effort, while BATO is responsible for selecting the site
and operating the pilot farm and process research facility.
BATO will also leverage the resources of the Bridgestone
Americas Center for Research and Technology and its Akron
Technical Center to provide technical and research
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