News from Notch Consulting, Inc.

January 23, 2012

Columbian Chemicals expanding carbon black capacity in Europe

Filed under: Carbon Black — Notch @ 10:56 am

On Monday, January 23, 2012, Columbian Chemicals announced an expansion project for its carbon black capacity in Europe. The project will add 30,000 metric tons of capacity in total, primarily at its sites in Santander, Spain and Tiszaújváros, Hungary. The additional capacity comes from debottlenecking of existing units in response to customer demands for additional carbon black. The company has filed IPPC permit modifications at the respective Environment Agencies. The additional capacity is expected to come on-stream in Q1 2012 as environmental operating permits are received.

According to Lester Tyra, Columbian’s VP Sales Europe, the new capacity is sorely needed. “Throughout 2011, we have been pushing our units to keep up with the high market demand for our products. Our customers continue to appreciate and value the high quality and reliable supply of carbon black coming from our four state of the art European facilities. Being strategically located at the center of carbon black demand is an advantage to meeting market needs. Our customers want us to help them develop their business, and I am delighted that we can answer positively,” stated Tyra.

Columbian Chemicals is part of Birla Carbon, the world leading carbon black business of the Aditya Birla Group, a $35 billion Indian conglomerate.

January 17, 2012

LANXESS opens new plant & headquarters in India

Filed under: Rubber Chemicals — Notch @ 2:22 pm

On January 10, LANXESS inaugurated two new production facilities in Jhagadia, Gujarat with 150 employees. The new facilities are part of the LANXESS Material Protection Products and Rhein Chemie Divisions. Among other products, the biocide Preventol will be manufactured there, as well as Rhenogran® and Rhenodiv®, which are rubber chemicals used in the manufacturing of tires. On January 12, LANXESS announced it had opened its new head office in Thane, close to Mumbai. The building is energy efficient and has a built-in wastewater system.

Rhein Chemie building rubber chemicals plant in Russia

Filed under: Rubber Chemicals — Notch @ 2:12 pm

On January 13, LANXESS announced that its subsidiary Rhein Chemie would build a plant to produce rubber additives and release agents at a site in Lipezk, Russia. The plant will service the Russian and CIS markets, especially for the automotive and tire industries. Construction of the new production plant is due to start in early 2012, with the launch of production scheduled for the first half of 2013. In 2016, a production facility for bladders used in tire production is to be added. Total investment will amount to around EUR 5 million, creating 40 new jobs in the medium term.

Orion expanding carbon black capacity in Korea

Filed under: Carbon Black — Notch @ 2:05 pm

Orion Engineered Carbons GmbH is building a fifth production unit for tread blacks at its plant in Yeosu, South Kore, adding 36 KT by May 2013. The expansion will take the plant to 188 KTPY.

Dietmar Balschukat, general manager for the Asia-Pacific Region said the unit at Yeosu will also produce carbon blacks geared for export especially to Japan and China, and supply additional volumes of Orion’s Purex and high-performance grades.

January 11, 2012

Yokohama raising commercial tire prices in US for second time in 4 months

Filed under: Tires — Notch @ 1:38 pm

Yokohama Tire Corporation has announced it will implement a price increase of up to 8% on all of its commercial truck tires in the U.S., effective February 1. The increase will also include in-line adjustments, which will be announced at a later date. The increase follows a previous announcement in September 2011 of an 8% increase in prices for light and medium commercial truck tires, which became effective October 1.

Here is the latest press release.

This increase follows a series of other tire price increases over the last three or four months, including a December 2011 announcement of a 15% increase in prices for OTR tires in the US, which became effective on January 1, 2012; and an October 2011 announcement of an 8% increase in prices for consumer tires (passenger, performance and light truck) in the US, which became effective on November 1, 2011.

These price increases reflect tight markets and increased raw material costs.

January 8, 2012

Conti Expands Truck Tread Capacity in Mexico

Filed under: Carbon Black, General, Rubber, Rubber Chemicals, Tires — Notch @ 3:33 pm

Last week, Continental Tire announced plans to double plant size and more than triple capacity at its ContiLifeCycle tread rubber manufacturing plant in Mexico. The plant, which was inaugurated in April 2011, can now produce more than 1.2 million ContiTread products annually. It supplies ContiLifeCycle licensees in Mexico, the US, and Andean region, and is expanding to the Mercosur countries as well. The flat treads produced at the plant currently include: ContiLifeCycle HDL Eco Plus (heavy drive long haul), HTL Eco Plus (heavy trailer long haul), HDR1 (heavy drive regional), D450 (a General brand drive tire), and the HSR (heavy steer regional) and HSC (heavy steer construction) tires for Mexico. The latest expansion doubled plant size and more than tripled its capacity in a project that was occurring more than a year earlier than anticipated due to strong demand for the plant’s products. The new expansion, which involves an additional curing and finishing line, increases the facility’s size to 4,000 square meters and raises capacity, which currently is enough to retread 1.2 million truck tires per year. An additional expansion is planned for 2014 and involves another curing and finishing line.

January 5, 2012

Orion Engineered Carbons updates names of subsidiaries, acquires full ownership of South African plant

Filed under: Carbon Black — Notch @ 5:45 pm

Orion Engineered Carbons was formed in last year from the former Evonik Carbon Black business of Evonik Industries. The new name was established upon completion of the transaction in August 2011.

As part of the new naming process, Orion Engineered Carbons also has renamed its subsidiaries, as follows:
* Orion Engineered Carbons GmbH (Germany)
* Orion Engineered Carbons S.r.l. (Italy)
* Orion Engineered Carbons S.A.S. (France)
* Carbogal Engineered Carbons S.A. (Portugal)
* Orion Engineered Carbons LLC (USA)
* Orion Engineered Carbons Ltd. (Korea)
* Orion Engineered Carbons sp z o.o. (Poland)
* Norcarb Engineered Carbons AB (Sweden)
* Orion Engineered Carbons Ltda. (Brazil)
* Orion Engineered Carbons Proprietary Limited (South Africa)

Additionally, the plant in South Africa is now owned 100% by Orion; previously it was a 50% subsidiary. Notch understands that the only subsidiary that continues to operate under its previous name is the Chinese joint venture, Qingdao Evonik Chemical Co., Ltd., but this will change in time.

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