Datuk Dr Vinod Sekhar, currently aged 46, is no stranger to those who ply their trade in the rubber industry. He has been the driven visionary as the executive chairman and chief executive officer of PETRA Group, a technology conglomerate responsible for several global technology leaps related to related to Elastomer recycling (Green Rubber) and biofuels.
Green Rubber Global, which is subsidiary of PETRA Group, holds the international patents for Green Rubber technology. The company is part of Vinod Sekhar’s vision to make the world greener and more sustainable.
A recent report showed that the company is investing US$ 10 million (RM 3.68 million) to build a new manufacturing plant in the Putra Industrial Park, Puchong to produce green rubber compound.
According to Datuk Vinod Sekhar, Malaysia was chosen to establish the Company’s first major production facility because it is a Malaysian-owned technology, which was also the lifetime work of his late father Tan Sri Dr B. C. Sekhar.
Fondly known as Mr Natural Rubber, the older Sekhar dedicated his life to rubber research and development in Malaysia. Green Rubber is a devulcanized rubber compound made using Green Rubber Global’s patented DeLink process. DeLink process is a commercially viable solution that can recover and reprocess waste rubber into Green Rubber.
The technology allowed used rubber to be recycled in a cost effective and non-toxic manner. It has similar performance characteristics of virgin rubber as in can be used in almost any application in which natural rubber is used.
Speaking in a media briefing in April 2015, Vinod Sekhar said, “Our patented DeLink process provides customers with high quality customised compounds that is friendly to the environment and more importantly, it is not more expensive than virgin rubber.”
“The global demand for industrial rubber products is projected to grow a healthy 6.6 percent annually to USD $158 billion in 2018. It’s a key driver behind our decision to expand production to meet the rapidly growing appetite from the emerging market in ASEAN and China.”
The new Green Rubber factory is expected to produce 20,000 to 25,000 tonnes of green rubber annually and the Company’s aim is for Green Rubber Global to be producing 105,000 tonnes in 2018.
To achieve the target, the Company has planned to set up another manufacturing facility by the end of 2015.
“The big manufacturers such as tyre manufacturers look at 30,000 to 50,000 tonnes of rubber annually, we have to work towards providing such capacity.” Vinod further explained.