News from Notch Consulting, Inc.

August 5, 2008

Nocil Reports Strong Quarter

Filed under: Rubber Chemicals — Notch @ 10:06 pm

On July 22, 2008, Nocil Ltd., India’s leading rubber chemical producer, announced that its net turnover rose 73.9% to Rs 1284 million for the quarter ended June 30, 2008 compared to the same quarter in 2007. Pre-tax profit rose to Rs 172 million in the quarter, up from Rs 31.6 million a year ago.

Nocil produces rubber chemicals, including 6PPD and IPPD antidegradants sold under the Pilflex tradename; TMQ, SPH and other antioxidants sold under the Pilnox tradename; and a range of accelerators sold under the Pilcure name. Nocil’s quarter results are here.

Philips Carbon Black Plans Expansions

Filed under: Carbon Black — Notch @ 5:03 pm

Notch has previously reported (here and here) on several major expansions in the works by India’s Phillips Carbon Black, including an expansion at Kochi, and new plants in India and Vietnam. These projects represent a total investment of Rs. 650 crore.

According to an article in the Economic Times, PCBL plans to build a new 80 KTPY plant in Mundra, Gujarat, India that is scheduled to come on-stream in March 2009. The Vietnamese plant will be located in the south, in Ba Ria-Vung Tau province, and will have 100 KTPY. It is expected to come on-stream in December 2009. Finally, capacity at Kochi, India will increase from 40 KTPY to 90 KTPY at a cost of Rs. 160 crore. The new 50 KTPY of capacity will be for soft (carcass) grades. In addition to the new capacity, the power plant at Kochi will be expanded from 2.5 MW to 14 MW. The company needs only 4 MW so the rest will be sold to the Kerala state grid. Work on this expansion will begin in June 2009 and be completed by September 2009. The expansions also include various improvements to pollution control, including providing four modules for primary and additional secondary bag filters to control dust.

Tire Inflation Becomes Unlikely Campaign Issue

Filed under: General, Tires — Notch @ 12:53 pm

Who would have thought that most mundane of all topics — proper tire inflation — would become a hot button political issue in the 2008 US presidential campaign? But that’s what happened when Barack Obama recently suggested to voters in Missouri that they could reduce their fuel costs and conserve energy by keeping their tires properly inflated and getting their vehicles regularly tuned up. Here is the YouTube of the excerpt.

The Republican leadership has pounced on the statement as some sort of gaffe. Seems like an odd issue to seize upon (what could be more non-partisan than tire pressure?), but then this has been an odd election season. Newt Gingrich described Obama’s suggestion as “loony tunes,” and the Republican National Committee has taken to distributing tire gauges labeled “Barack Obama’s Energy Plan” to reporters and potential donors, a stunt that Elizabeth Holmes of the Wall Street Journal has labeled the start of the “electoral silly season.” Michael Grunwald of Time has an article here pointing out that the data support Obama on this one.

Readers may also be interested to know that the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007, which was signed into law by President Bush in December 19, 2007, includes something called the “Ten-in-Ten Fuel Economy Act.” As detailed in Section 32304A, Consumer Tire Information, this law includes a provision to create by December 2009 a consumer education program that would entail the following four components (emphasis mine):

(A) a national tire fuel efficiency rating system for motor vehicle replacement tires to assist consumers in making more educated tire purchasing decisions;
(B) requirements for providing information to consumers, including information at the point of sale and other potential information dissemination methods, including the Internet;
(C) specifications for test methods for manufacturers to use in assessing and rating tires to avoid variation among test equipment and manufacturers; and
(D) a national tire maintenance consumer education program including, information on tire inflation pressure, alignment, rotation, and tread wear to maximize fuel efficiency, safety, and durability of replacement tires.

So educating consumers about proper tire inflation is actually part of President Bush’s own energy policy. Readers may also be interested in the Transportation Research Board’s report “Tires and Passenger Vehicle Fuel Economy,” which has extensive information on tire inflation and rolling resistance in passenger tires. The PDF of the report is below.
transportation-research-board-sr-286

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Update: Speaking in Berea, Ohio, Barack Obama responded to the tire gauge taunts, thus ensuring that this issue will remain in the headlines for another news cycle or two. Oh well, maybe some of those tire gauges will actually get used.

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