News from Notch Consulting, Inc.

June 29, 2017

Conti exec skeptical of airless tires for passenger cars

Filed under: Run-flats, Tires — Notch @ 1:33 pm

Airless tires are more of a marketing tool than a realistic offering for the passenger car tire market, according to Gerrit Bolz, head of process development and tire assembly at Continental.

The Conti executive went on to describe airless tires as being more of a publicity exercise than a potential game-changer for the car tire market.

“We are a little bit jealous about the marketing story, not about the technical performance of such tires,” he said.

Read more here.

Russia’s Yaroslavl Carbon Black announces carbon black price increase

Filed under: Carbon Black — Notch @ 12:56 pm

Russia’s Yaroslavl Carbon Black (JSC Yaroslavskiy Tekhnicheskiy Uglerod), announced changes to its prices for all grades of carbon black starting 1 July.

In a letter to customers, Yaroslavl explained that the company’s pricing policy is affected by low oil prices and external pressure on carbon black feedstock prices:

“The price pressure has clearly shown that carbon black pricing formulas based solely on 1% fuel oil index are no longer valid and do not cover both fixed and variable costs of production in the long term.”

Read more here (subscription required).

June 28, 2017

Birla Carbon releases its fifth Sustainability Report ‘Our Progress on the Path to Sustainable Business’

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

Birla Carbon has released its 2017 Sustainability Report, Our Progress on the Path to Sustainable Business.

Dr Santrupt Misra, Chief Executive Officer, Birla Carbon writes:

Birla Carbon has come a long way as a business – from its origins as a regional carbon black supplier to the present, where it now stands as a global leader in the industry. Its benchmark standards, across all operational areas, have also grown in line with the business’ growth.

Joe Gaynor, Chief Legal, Sustainability and Risk Officer, Birla Carbon adds:

At Birla Carbon, Sustainability is a forward-looking exercise. We continue to explore our future, our long term aspirations and what it means for us to be available for our customers as the preferred supplier.

This is the fifth consecutive report Birla Carbon has published since it began reporting on its Sustainability progress back in 2012. You can read the full report here.

June 27, 2017

Michelin to upgrade Scottish tire plant

Filed under: Tires — Notch @ 12:41 pm

Michelin, with the backing of the Scottish government, plans to invest $21 million in its factory in Dundee to upgrade the plant for larger-sized tires and to reduce its environmental impact.

Included in the equipment upgrade will be the installation of electric curing technology, which will help make the site more efficient and expand the range of tires it is capable of manufacturing.

Read more here.

European Commission approves acquisition of Huber Silica by Evonik, subject to conditions

Filed under: Silica — Notch @ 12:06 pm

Brussels, 22 June 2017

The European Commission has approved under the EU Merger Regulation Evonik’s acquisition of Huber Silica. The decision is conditional on the divestment of some of both companies’ activities related to precipitated silica, a chemical used in tires, toothpaste, defoamers, paints and coatings.

JM Huber Corp. is among the largest privately held companies in the United States, a global company with approximately 4,000 employees in more than 20 countries, with a broad product portfolio ranging from specialty chemicals to the forestry sector.

Based in Germany, Evonik is a global specialty chemical company that’s active in more than 100 countries with 33,500 employees and nearly $14.2 billion in sales. The firm said it has a leading position as a supplier of silica for tire manufacturers and the paint and coatings industry. Evonik’s silica products also are being applied as flow additives and carriers for the manufacture of foodstuffs, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals and silicones.

Read the full European Commission press release here.

June 23, 2017

Castleton Commodities invests in Delta-Energy

Filed under: Carbon Black, Tire Recycling — Notch @ 12:41 pm

Castleton Commodities International L.L.C. has bought majority ownership of Delta-Energy Group L.L.C., a resource recovery company providing recycling solutions to the tire industry, including a patented process to recover carbon black and marketable liquid chemicals from used tires.

Bridgestone Americas, which is considered an “early-stage investor” in Delta-Energy dating back to 2014, will continue to be an active, but minority, investor, Castleton said.

Proceeds from the investment will be used to develop a commercial-scale plant in Natchez, Miss., with an estimated daily processing capacity of 100 tons of end-of-use-tires. Delta-Energy’s commercial plant will recover carbon black and other basic materials for reuse in tire production and other rubber-related manufacturing processes, as well as liquid solvents and fuels. The investment will further expand CCI’s activities in the renewables sector, which today include nearly 20 biomass electric generation facilities, emissions trading and biofuels marketing.

Read the full press release here.

Quoted article here.

Aeolus to expand China tire plant

Filed under: Tires — Notch @ 12:16 pm

A project to add 30,000 units per year of capacity for engineering tires, including jumbo tires, at Aeolus’ existing site in Jiaozuo, China was approved in May.

Read more here.

Nokian US tire plant groundbreaking set for August

Filed under: Tires — Notch @ 12:10 pm

“We’ll be building the most modern tire factory in the world,” Nokian’s Tommi Heinonen said about the $360 million facility that will be the Finnish manufacturer’s first in the United States.

As the Times Free Press reports, groundbreaking for the Dayton, Tennessee site of Nokian’s tire plant is set for August, with a 135-acre building pad planned to handle the first and potential added phases.

June 22, 2017

Citing new environmental investments, Continental Carbon announces carbon black price increase for US

Filed under: Carbon Black — Notch @ 1:53 pm

Continental Carbon (Houston, TX) has announced a carbon black price increase of $0.05/lb for all grades and all customers effective August 1, 2017 or as contracts allow. In a letter announcing the increase, Darryl Huntley, VP Sales and Marketing for Continental Carbon, provided several factors behind the move:

Our plants are in need of reinvestment income at the same time that we are implementing pollution control programs resulting from our extensive financial commitment to keep carbon black supply in the US. Obviously we cannot bear the costs for this commitment and improve our plant’s operational capabilities without passing along a portion of those costs to the customer base for whom the commitment was made.

Mr. Huntley goes on to note that,

This increase will initiate the recovery of a portion of the initial costs for our pollution control equipment installation and re-investment dollars for our facilities. This will not cover any of the current or future operational costs for the pollution control equipment.

Finally, the price increase announcement cites the fact that feedstock markets in the US continue to see an unfavorable differential between the HSFO indicator and the actual cost of delivered feedstock.

In addition to initial pollution control design and engineering costs, Phenix City continues to experience highly unfavorable oil costs as premiums to the HSFO indicator persist on the delivered costs of oil to that facility.

There are currently five carbon black producers in the United States. Among these, Cabot and Continental Carbon have reached consent agreements with the EPA regarding new pollution control measures for their US carbon black plants. Continental Carbon also recently announced a $60 million investment in cogen projects for its US plants. The three other carbon black producers in the US remain in talks with the EPA to resolve issues related to emission levels and scrubber technology for their US plants.

June 14, 2017

Monolith Materials features innovative solutions at Movin’On

Filed under: Carbon Black — Notch @ 5:51 pm

Monolith Materials, Inc., a next-generation manufacturer of natural gas-based carbon black, will illustrate how its process technology is revolutionizing the tire industry during the technology showcase at Movin’On by Michelin on June 14, 2017 in Montreal, Quebec.

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