News from Notch Consulting, Inc.

August 9, 2008

Delta-Energy Completes Expansion of Tire Recycling Plant

Filed under: Carbon Black, Tire Recycling — Notch @ 12:11 pm

On August 8, 2008, Delta-Energy announced that it has completed an expansion of its tire recycling plant in Berthold, ND. The plant utilizes the company’s DePolymerization process to recover carbon black-based materials as an alternative to virgin carbon black. The plant’s capacity was expanded by 50%.

Below is the main text of the press release.

Delta-Energy, LLC, the premier resource recovery company specializing in recovering carbon black based products for reuse in rubber and plastic compounds, announced today that they have completed the expansion of their DEPolymerization™ plant in Berthold, ND. The plant’s capacity to recover carbon black based materials has been expanded by 50% in order to meet growing demand for Phoenix Black®, a green alternative to virgin carbon black used for rubber reinforcement.

Delta-Energy’s Phoenix Black product line reinforces a wide range of rubber compounds similarly to medium and low reinforcing carbon blacks. The products are being used in dynamic and static rubber applications. Zephyr Black product line has the tint strength of carbon blacks used in commodity black plastic master batches and coatings.

“Our DEPolymerization process takes one of the world’s biggest pollution problems – discarded tires – and turns them into usable gas and liquid fuels and recovered carbon black based solids. With the rising cost of raw materials and base energy we are experiencing an ever-increasing demand for DEPolymerization products,” said Paul Lee, Chief Executive Officer, Delta-Energy, LLC. “The increased capacity of our Berthold plant will definitely help bridge demand, especially black demand, as we construct our next plant.

Currently the company has plans to begin construction of a second plant in Greene County, Pennsylvania in the fourth quarter of 2008 and is reviewing other proposed building sites.

August 8, 2008

A Look at the Run-Flat Market

Filed under: Run-flats, Tires — Notch @ 8:21 am

Just-auto has an overview of the run-flat tire market, including some history and predictions of where the market is going.

Over the next few years, manufacturers predict strong growth prospects for run-flats. “We are convinced that the popularity of run-flat tyres will grow”, added [Franco] Annunziato. “There are compelling advantages of not needing to carry a spare wheel and tools, of knowing that you don’t have to stop your car on a highway or a dangerous place, to replace a flat-out tire, of increasing luggage space and reducing the overall weight of your car. So our strategy is to improve the performance of run-flat tyres, and meet the needs of this projected demand.”

August 7, 2008

CBp Carbon Moves Into Next Phase for Production of Recycled Carbon Black

Filed under: Carbon Black, Tire Recycling — Notch @ 4:55 pm

In a press release from August 6, 2008, CBp Carbon Industries (Bratislava, Slovak Republic) announced that it is moving into the next phase of its plan to build a commercial production facility to produce a carbon black replacement from recycled tires.

The company reported that it had recently completed Phase 2 of the three phase program, which involved using its pilot plant in Hungary to determine the most viable technology configurations for its process and to engineer the facility to produce varying quantities and qualities of its carbon black replacement, which is marketed as CBp Carbon Green. This phase also involved the delivery of test quantities of the product to tire manufacturers in Europe, North America, and Asia for evaluation.

Under Phase 3 of the program, CBp Carbon plans to complete construction of its first generation commercial production facility located in Limasol, Cyprus by 4Q 2008, with full commercial operation by Q1 2009. The Phase 3 test production plant has been moved to the Cyprus facility.

The startup of the Cyprus facility will be followed by commencement of larger next generation facilities in Greece and North America (30,000 tonnes per annum minimum), with other regions to follow. The company reports that it is assessing sites in Europe and North America for commercial plants in cooperation with governments and local businesses. The company expects to break ground on at least three next generation commercial plants in 2009. Further, CBp President John Novak has indicated that the company plans to build at least ten plants per year, within the next three to five years, in conjunction with participating governments and major industry partners.

According to company sources, the 30,000 tonnes of capacity for these units refers to the amount of tire shred processed per year and does not refer to output of carbon black replacement. The company’s process produces energy (syngas, which is converted into electricity), scrap steel, and carbon black replacement.

August 6, 2008

Notch Consulting Publishes “World Markets for Precipitated Silica 2008”

Notch Consulting is proud to announce the publication of a new market research report, World Markets for Precipitated Silica 2008. This fully updated and expanded report covers the $2 billion global market for precipitated silica and sodium aluminum silicates, which are high performance fillers and additives used in fuel efficient tires, rubber goods, toothpaste, food/feed, paper, and a range of other applications.

Coverage includes all regions and 18 major countries. The report addresses global and regional supply and demand issues, including current capacity and expansion activity, pricing, recent product developments, regulatory considerations, and industry restructuring. Data are provided in metric tons for all years 2002 through 2007, with forecasts provided for 2008–2010, 2015, and 2025. The report provides production capacity by company and plant for all years 2005 through 2010, including planned expansions, as well as highly dispersible silica (HDS) capacity by company and plant. Market share (in US$) is provided by company for major markets and regions (North America, European Union, Asia). World Markets for Precipitated Silica 2008 includes both the main report in either electronic PDF or hard copy format, as well as a separate Excel spreadsheet containing all of the report’s statistical data. Profiles are provided for leading suppliers.

Here is an overview of the report and its complete table of contents (PDF).

Ordering information is here.
For more information, write to

Aditya Birla Nuvo Reports Quarterly Results

Filed under: Carbon Black — Notch @ 2:53 pm

Mumbai, Maharashtra, India — On Monday, August 4, 2008, Aditya Birla Nuvo reported its results for the quarter ended June 30, 2008. The company’s standalone revenues grew by 38% to Rs. 1,078.9 crores, up from Rs. 780.1 crores for the same quarter in 2007. Higher volumes in the Carbon Black and the Fertilisers businesses contributed significantly to the revenues and earnings. Standalone net profit is up by 23% at Rs. 41.6 crores from Rs. 33.7 crores.

Standalone revenue for the Carbon Black business totaled Rs. 297.66 crores for the quarter ended June 30, 2008, up from Rs. 161.23 crores for the same quarter of 2007. PBIT (profit before interest & tax) for the Carbon Black business totaled Rs. 41.45 crores for the most recent quarter, up from Rs. 28.74 crores from a year ago.

Aditya Birla Nuvo’s consolidated revenues grew by 48% from Rs. 2,184.1 crores to Rs. 3,228.3 crores. Revenues from its subsidiaries and joint ventures, where the company has made substantial investments in the past, grew by 53% to Rs. 2,149.4 crores from Rs. 1,404 crores.

Here is the press release on the results.
Here are unaudited financial results for the quarter.

RMA Forecasts 4% Drop in US Tire Shipments in 2008

Filed under: General, Tires — Notch @ 11:56 am

U.S. tire shipments are projected to decline by nearly 4 percent in 2008 compared to 2007, according to the Rubber Manufacturers Association. Total shipments will fall below 300 million units, and OE passenger tire shipments will fall to their lowest levels since 1991. The full press release is here.

The projected drop in shipments reflects the worsening domestic economic pressures predicted for both the consumer and commercial sectors, with original equipment shipments falling by double-digit percentages. The combined 2008 original equipment and replacement tire shipments for light vehicle and truck categories are expected to fall by more than 12 million units to about 298 million total shipments, compared to 310 million units in 2007.

Replacement passenger tire shipments are forecast to fall nearly 1 percent to about 202 million units, as a slowing economy and high energy prices are affecting consumer driving habits. Demand in 2009 likely will be unchanged because of continuing difficult economic conditions.

Replacement light truck tire shipments are forecast to fall by approximately 2.4 million units, or nearly 7 percent, to about 32 million units in 2008. Although the number of vehicles for this market remains steady and largely represented by small commercial vehicles, declining economic conditions and fewer miles driven will contribute to a further projected 5 percent decline in replacement LT tire shipments in 2009.

Shipments of replacement medium, wide-base and heavy truck tires are projected to decline to approximately 16 million units in 2008, a decrease of nearly 600,000 units or 3.5 percent over 2007. Again, the decrease reflects a further weakening of the economy and protracted recovery as fewer goods are being transported.

OE passenger tire shipments are projected to decrease by more than 11 percent to approximately 41 million units in 2008 as a result of continued decreases in domestic vehicle production. This will mark the lowest level of OE shipments since 1991 when OE shipments stood at 41.8 million units. A further decrease of approximately 3 percent is expected for 2009 owing to a protracted economic recovery and continued market share gains for light vehicle imports.

OE light truck tire shipments are forecast to decline more than 35 percent to 2.8 million units in 2007, down from 4.4 million units in 2007. This sharp drop is attributable to the fundamental shift in consumer demand for vehicles with higher fuel economy, a shift in vehicle fitments to P-metric passenger tires, and market share increases by import vehicle manufacturers. For 2009, a modest 200,000 unit increase is anticipated owing to resumption of economic growth in the commercial sectors that utilize light truck vehicles.

Finally, original equipment medium, wide-base, and heavy truck tire shipments are projected to decline by approximately 12 percent to nearly 4.1 million units in 2008. This decrease is attributed to the larger than anticipated economic slowdown in the commercial sector. However a considerable rebound of more than 24 percent is forecasted for 2009 as economic activity improves and truck sales increase. Anticipation of changes in EPA regulations for 2010 will inspire a pull-forward effect of truck sales into 2009.

Huber Raises Silica Prices

Filed under: Silica — Notch @ 11:05 am

On August 1, 2008, Huber Engineered Materials announced a global price increase for its Dental, Paper, and Specialty Silica and Silicate grades, citing an unprecedented escalation in energy, raw material and transportation costs. The increase will be implemented between Aug. 15 and Sept. 1, 2008, or as contracts allow. Prices will increase an average of up to 15 percent, depending on the product grade and form.

Here is the press release.

Performance Fibers Plans Expansion in China

Filed under: Tire Cord — Notch @ 10:51 am

On August 5, 2008, Performance Fibers (Richmond, VA) announced plans to again increase capacity for HMLS (high modulus, low shrinkage) polyester fiber and fabric at its factory in Kaiping, China to meet demand from the tire industry.

The latest expansion will increase combined production of dimensionally stable polyester fiber and fabric production by 50 percent. The new project is part of a multi-phase expansion plan over the past four years to expand capacity for DSP yarn and fabric.

The expansion will include the addition of new advanced spinning machines to produce HMLS fiber, continuing a plan that added the infrastructure for this new equipment in 2006. The first part of this expansion is expected to come online in November 2008, with the following stage to begin production in early 2009. The company also will add direct cablers and air jet looms to increase fabric capacity. Construction on a second level of its existing facility to house the new, state-of-the-art equipment will begin this quarter, with production to begin next year.

Here is the press release.

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.

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