News from Notch Consulting, Inc.

June 25, 2010

Continental Carbon to Invest $60 Million in Cogen Projects for US Carbon Black Plants

Filed under: Carbon Black — Notch @ 7:00 am

Continental Carbon Company Commits to Long-Term Energy Recovery Projects with Steam Sales Agreement to Valero Energy

HOUSTON, Texas (June 24, 2010) – As part of a long-term strategy to invest in energy recovery projects, Continental Carbon Company today announced a 10-year agreement to supply steam from the company’s Sunray, Texas, carbon black manufacturing plant to Valero Energy’s nearby McKee Refinery.

Steam will be produced from the utilization of carbon black production tail gases, with up to 175,000 pounds per hour of steam to be provided to the refinery starting in November of 2011.

In addition to the steam system, the company also plans to upgrade the Sunray plant’s production process and equipment to allow manufacturing of low-grit, clean blacks that can bring higher value in the market place.

For Continental Carbon’s other two carbon black manufacturing plants, located at Phenix City, Ala and Ponca City, Okla, the company plans to recover energy derived from the production process and convert this energy to electricity by building power cogeneration facilities. Approximately 18 megawatts of electrical power will be available from this process starting in late 2011.

The Ponca City plant team also is investigating the feasibility of adding a steam generation system and delivering steam to nearby users.

“This commitment of more than $60 million of energy recovery projects at our U.S. manufacturing plants represents a major step toward energy efficiency and self-reliance, thus ensuring the company’s future viability and competitiveness,” commented Kim K.T. Pan, president of Continental Carbon Company. “The added advantage derived from these projects is the overall reduction in the emission of greenhouse gases – a real positive contribution to the betterment of our environment.“

June 23, 2010

Another tire recycler enters the fray

Filed under: Carbon Black, Tire Recycling — Notch @ 2:02 pm

Today in tire recycling news: a company called Plateau Mineral Development, Inc. announced that it, in conjunction with Environmental Solutions, has commenced the permitting process for the Tire Converter, which is a process designed to recover carbon black, oil, gas, and “petroleum solvents” from recycled tires.

Once the permitting process is complete, early fabrication of the device will begin. Permitting and early fabrication should allow Plateau and EnSol’s engineers to resolve any fabrication issues that could make building the Converter take longer than needed. Fabrication issues need to be fixed in order to avoid unforeseen delays that would include follow-on production problems.

According to the company’s press release, one of the markets the company plans to pursue for its recycled carbon black is batteries. According to Notch Consulting estimates, battery markets account for less than 0.1% of furnace black demand, and those grades are conductive blacks. There may be some confusion with acetylene black, which is used in batteries but would not be recovered from tires.

June 22, 2010

BMW & Bridgestone settle class action lawsuit over run-flat tires

Filed under: Run-flats — Notch @ 7:34 am

BMW of North America and Bridgestone Americas have settled a 2008 class-action lawsuit stemming from problems with the run-flat tires in 2006 and 2007 BMW 3-series models. The issue concerns the factory-installed Bridgestone Turanza EL42 run-flat tires, which exhibited irregular wear and excessive road noise and needed to be replaced early (before 30,000 miles). The class-action suit started with an owners’ group lawsuit that alleged BMW and Bridgestone should have known the tires were defective and prone to excessive noise and irregular wear. A federal court in New Jersey has accepted the settlement offer, clearing the way for affected BMW owners to apply for reimbursement. Bridgestone estimates the potential class at about 125,000 owners.

Under the terms of the agreement, members of the settlement class will receive a full refund for the purchase of replacement tires if they were needed before 10,000 miles. If replacement occurred between 10,000 miles up through 30,000 miles, reimbursement will be 50 percent or less.

More information is available at the RFT settlement website.

June 21, 2010

Evonik to Close Dutch Carbon Black Plant

Filed under: Carbon Black — Notch @ 9:14 am

On June 21, Evonik announced a restructuring of its carbon black business that will include shutting down its plant in Botlek, Netherlands on July 31, 2010. The plant will continue to supply energy to local businesses for the next few years. With this closure, Evonik will have seven carbon black plants in Europe. The company expects to produce 1.4 million tonnes of carbon black in 2010. Evonik also announced that it would expand capacity and initiate production optimization measures at individual sites, including its plants in Korea and China. In the announcement, Evonik highlighted some of its recent investments in its carbon black business: a new plant in Brazil, an optimization program for its Chinese plant, and a comprehensive overhaul of its plant in South Africa.

Here is the press release.

June 17, 2010

Carbon Green announces tire recycling plant in Ontario

Filed under: Tire Recycling — Notch @ 11:05 pm

On Wednesday, Carbon Green, a tire recycling company, announced that it had chosen southern Ontario as the first location for “phase one of the North American rollout of its full-scale tire recycling plants.” The announcement did not provide any details about the location of the plant, its capacity, or a completion schedule. Carbon Green operates a tire recycling plant in Cyprus. The company’s technology recycles used tires into recovered steel, a #2 diesel equivalent oil, and Carbon Green, a recycled carbon black.

The press release is here.

Twaron Aramid to restart aramid unit in Netherlands

Filed under: Tire Cord — Notch @ 10:47 pm

Bolstered by stronger-than-expected demand, Teijin Aramid will restart the last spinning line for aramid fibers at its plant in Emmen, Netherlands. After declining sharply in 2009, demand for Teijin Aramid’s Twaron fiber recovered in the first half of 2010, and the forecast for 2010 production has been adjusted upwards. With the restart of the last spinning line, all of the company’s spinning lines will be operational and production will be at full capacity. The schedule calls for this spinning line to be operational once more and stable in the last quarter of 2010. A large number of spinning lines were shut down in 2009 in response to declining market demand. The restarting of the last spinning line will require the hiring of 30 additional employees.

At the end of May, the Association of Dutch Chemical Industry (VNCI) announced that the chemical industry in the Netherlands was showing strong recovery. Production rose by 21.7% in the first quarter of 2010 over the same period in 2009.

The full press release is here.

Eliokem raises Wingstay prices, capacity

Filed under: Rubber Chemicals — Notch @ 1:13 pm

VILLEJUST, France, June 15th, 2010 – Due to a very high demand of para-cresol monomer for the production of antioxidants but also for the manufacturing of cosmetic and pharmaceutical intermediates, the para-cresol price has increased significantly in June 2010.

In order to offset the para-cresol and isobutylene cost increases, Eliokem announces a worldwide price increase for its Wingstay L antioxidant up to 20% in Euros, effective July 1st 2010.

Due to the continuing success in polymer stabilization, the demand for Wingstay L molecule is increasing, especially in Asia .

To confirm its long term commitment to the Wingstay L business, Eliokem management team has decided to increase global manufacturing capacity for Wingstay L.

Press release.

June 11, 2010

Evonik Raises Carbon Black Prices

Filed under: Carbon Black — Notch @ 1:08 pm

Evonik Industries issued a press release today announcing a price increase for rubber grade carbon blacks in Europe and neighboring countries of Euro 130 per ton. The release is reprinted below in its entirety.

Price Increase Carbon Black Rubber grades CORAX, Durex, ECORAX & PUREX

The Inorganic Materials Business Unit of Evonik Industries, Essen, is increasing prices for Carbon Black Rubber grades CORAX®, Durex®, ECORAX® & PUREX® by 130,-€/ton in Europe and neighboring countries.
The price increase will be effective for all deliveries on or after July 15, 2010. Evonik is one of the world’s largest producer of carbon black (furnace carbon black, lamp black, and gas black).

Statement from Himadri Regarding Haripal Plant

Filed under: Carbon Black, General — Notch @ 10:00 am

A spokesperson for Himadri Chemicals & Industries has provided the following statement regarding the incident that occurred at its Haripal plant in Hooghly District, India earlier this week. The statement is provided in its entirety.

With reference to incorrect reports in media about our plant, I want to share correct facts and also assure [customers] that our plant at Mahestikri is fully operational and there is no stoppage of production.

Our plant is fully automatic controlled unit and has self built controls for any malfunctioning. The plant at Haripal in Maheshtikri is a coal tar distillation unit and the process does not use any acid or any harmful material as a raw material or as a catalyst. The plant is in compliance to requirements of local laws and also meeting standards set by IFC, Washington who conduct regular compliance audits.

One of the burners had malfunctioned and emissioned small quantity of black ash aerosol which is completely non-hazardous and harmless to any plant and living species. This was automatically controlled by the inbuilt system in the process. Some people with malafide intensions misused this and wanted to extract compensation which we believe was unfair. This led to some agitation and protests by them which ultimately calmed down since it had no proper basis. The media has painted the picture differently as compared to correct facts as above and we can assure you that plant is fully operational.

Let me assure that dispatches to our valued customers will continue as per plan and you should not have any worry on this front.

Production Problems at Himadri Plant Cause Local Unrest

Filed under: Carbon Black — Notch @ 12:44 am

Earlier this week, Himadri Chemicals’ Haripal plant in Hooghly District, India experienced a problem with a burner that led to unplanned emissions of soot into the plant’s surrounding area. The problem seemed to be in the coal tar distillation unit and not the carbon black unit. The emissions caused the local population to surround and temporarily shut down the plant, causing some Rs 50 lakh of damage to plant offices. The crowd’s reaction seemed to be greatly amplified by anger over the Bhopal verdict, which had come out the day before. On Wednesday, June 9, members of a seven member team from the state Pollution Control Board began a probe into the incident.

“The preliminary report indicates limited emission of carbon which does not seem very serious. However, we have ordered a detailed inquiry,” said M.L. Meena, the state environment secretary.

Stories on the incident are here:
Probe smells cheaper oil, firm disagrees the Telegraph
Soot from Tar Factory Blackens SingurIndian Express
Chemical plant admits ‘black ash’ emissionthe Telegraph
Bhopal panic seeps into Singur – I Love Kolkata

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