News from Notch Consulting, Inc.

September 18, 2008

Lanxess Growing in Asia, Russia, Latin America

Filed under: General, Rubber Chemicals, Tires — Notch @ 11:10 am

The Lanxess website has posted an excellent presentation from Dr. Alex Heitmann, Chairman of the Board of Management, LANXESS AG.

By 2010 our investments in Asia will have doubled to represent 49 percent of our capital expenditures. This move gives us greater proximity to our customers. It is a natural hedge against currency fluctuations and raw material costs, and it optimizes our transportation costs.

Update on Ike, Part 2

Filed under: Carbon Black, General — Notch @ 10:48 am

Evonik Degussa’s carbon black plant in Orange, Texas remains shut down in the wake of Hurricane Ike. The plant was not flooded and damage is light. However, power is still out in the area, and employees are not yet able to return to work. The company expects the plant to be down for at least another week. Evonik Degussa reports that it is able to fill its orders from other plants.

Aside from Orange, all of the carbon black plants shut down in preparation for Ike have restarted.

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Update: Turns out I had some wrong information regarding the post-storm situation. Sid Richardson’s plant at Addis, Louisiana started back up today, not over the weekend as previously reported, due to continued delays in restoring electrical power. The plant shut down over the weekend of August 30/31 in preparation for Hurricane Gustav. It sustained only cosmetic damage from the storm.

Where is the growth in the tire industry?

Filed under: Uncategorized — Notch @ 10:38 am

Just-Auto has an interesting interview with James Bailey, Goodyear’s corporate communications manager.

An excerpt:

just-auto: Overall, we are seeing the mature tyre industry growing at about 3% a year, but I guess there are some tyre segments growing faster than others. Which tyre segments are the fastest growing? Is it the performance markets of W, Y, Z and 4×4?

James Bailey: Yes, the main growth is in high performance fitments. A 17 or 18 inch tyre was supercar territory in the early 90s – now it is the main tyre for the Mondeo market. Our fastest growing area is RunOnFlat tyres. With standard fitments across the BMW and Mini ranges, and option choices for many Ford, GM, and Mercedes models, the growth has been rapid.

And later in the interview.

James Bailey: A 6% cut in rolling resistance equates to a 1 percent cut in fuel consumption. Goodyear is working on the development of an ultra low rolling resistance RunOnFlat tyre with environmentally friendly materials. On this project Goodyear is working in close cooperation with two research partners: The Italian research company Novamont and our OE partners, BMW. One of the project’s main tasks is to develop a new ‘bio’ filler as an alternative to traditional fillers used in tyres. This new filler, which will be made out of renewable resources like corn starch, may have a major environmental impact and lead to a reduction of CO2 emissions during its production process.

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