News from Notch Consulting, Inc.

November 21, 2011

Reflections on Singapore

Filed under: Carbon Black — Notch @ 10:49 am

The Carbon Black 2011 Conference in Asia Pacific conference concluded on Friday, and Notch was honored to deliver one of the conference’s keynote addresses. The conference was organized by Boston & Billman and was very capably hosted by Sukhjeet Sekhon of Glencore, and together they put together a well organized, well attended conference in a beautiful location. Congratulations to all involved.

The tone of the conference was one of guarded optimism as many carbon black suppliers are entering 2012 with volumes essentially sold out and pricing on the rise, and the industry is investing heavily in new capacity, especially in China, India, and Russia. That said, there is concern about next year’s demand picture as the fourth quarter was weaker than expected (even taking into account holiday shutdowns). Further, there are very real concerns that the Eurozone’s financial crisis could lead to a double-dip recession. Other major areas of concern for suppliers include feedstock availability (especially low sulfur feedstock), the potential for tighter environmental regulations, and continued encroachment by silica into tire tread applications.

Here are some of the most recent production forecasts from the various regional outlooks:

India (courtesy of Ashok Goyal of Phillips Carbon Black):
FY 2010: 674 KT
FY 2011: 693 KT (+2.8%) – stronger gains hindered by increased imports, especially from China (NOTE: FY runs April to March)

Russia (courtesy of Igor Levenberg of Makrochem):
2010: 671 KT
1H 2011: 359 KT
2011 Annualized: 718 KT (+7%)

Ukraine (courtesy of Igor Levenberg of Makrochem):
2010: 76 KT
1H 2011: 52 KT
2011 Annualized: 104 KT (+37%)

China (courtesy of Liu Min of the China Carbon Black Institute):
2010: 3,375 KT
2011f: 3,691 KT (+9.4%)

Japan (courtesy of Midori Hajikano of Tokai Carbon):
2009: 577 KT
2010: 723 KT (+25%)

Notch Consulting forecasts that global carbon black production will grow 6.1% in 2011 to 10.8 million tonnes.

New carbon black plant in Abu Dhabi to produce specialty grades

Filed under: Carbon Black — Notch @ 9:17 am

The Carbon Black 2011 Conference in Asia Pacific, which just concluded in Singapore, included a talk by Alberto De Amicis of Eurotecnica regarding Abu Dhabi Oil Refining Co.’s new carbon black plant and coker project in Abu Dhabi, UAE. As we reported here previously, Eurotecnica is providing technology and basic design for the new plant. According to Eurotecnica, the technology, which was developed in association with India-based consulting firm PVTI, is energy efficient and results in high product quality. Eurotecnica is a leading provider of technology for melamine production, having licensed and implemented 17 units with a combined capacity of 430 KTPY, or about one-third of global capacity.

On the carbon black side, Eurotecnica’s services include the following:
– Feasibility studies;
– Basic, front-end and detailed engineering;
– Supply of proprietary equipment;
– Supply of critical equipment or client assistance in procurement;
– Technical advisory services for all phases of implementation, including plant commissioning;
– Theoretical and practical training at site.

Here are some details on the plant:
Engineering phase: completed
Construction: to begin 1H 2012
Total capacity: 40,600 t/y (nominal product mix), of which 27,600 t/y will be ISAF N-220 (CBFN 220 PC – UV Grade) and 13,000 t/y will be N-115 (CBFN 115 CP – semiconductive).
Specs: Output is zero grit, high-purity clean grades, with a grit residue requirement of 15 ppm max (Sieve/grit reside 325 mesh)
Feedstock: The plant will use two feedstocks (specific to each grade) that are hydrotreated slurry residues with very low sulfur content and different BMCI and property values
Uses: The special grades produced at the plant will be used in the production of plastic pipe (especially those requiring high purity, low residuals, such as potable water) and wire and cable products.

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