News from Notch Consulting, Inc.

September 22, 2018

Birla raising carbon black capacity in Spain

Filed under: Carbon Black — Notch @ 1:20 pm

On September 21, Birla Carbon Spain (Gajano, Spain), announced an investment of €5 million towards sustainability and energy efficiency projects and to increase its production capacity from 80,000 to 95,000 tons per year. The plant also inaugurated a new administrative office and laboratory complex within its premises. Earlier this year, Birla Carbon announced plans for expansion projects in Egypt, Italy, India, and Thailand.

In a press release announcing the project, Dr. Santrupt B Misra, Chief Executive Officer, Birla Carbon, stated, “At Birla Carbon, we are always striving to create our next opportunity. We always find such exciting opportunities by keenly listening to our customers and by identifying their needs around innovation and improvements. Birla Carbon’s Purpose – “Share the Strength”, brings the spirit of collaboration, engagement and action alive. Our investment into our Spain facility is yet another example of it”.

Speaking at the project’s inauguration, John Loudermilk, COO of Birla Carbon, said, “Birla Carbon is committed to investing in the future of our plants. While we are continuously innovating to ensure our products align to market needs, our technology teams are constantly working towards enhancing our processes to be more sustainable and efficient. Our announcement today, not only drives productivity higher but makes us more sustainable”.

BCS’s investment of €5 mn in the plant will achieve greater reliability and sustainability of its manufacturing process. The installation of new equipment in one of its manufacturing lines and the re-engineering of other critical equipment uses one of the best available technologies in the carbon black industry. These improvements will lead to greater productivity and environmental performance, as well as reliability, the company said in a press release.

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September 12, 2018

Carbon Black World coming in less than two weeks

Filed under: Carbon Black — Notch @ 8:50 pm

The Carbon Black World conference, which is held every other year, is coming to Dusseldorf from September 24-26. This is an essential conference for anyone interested in this industry. Notch will be giving a paper on the Carbon Black Global Outlook on Tuesday, September 25.

In addition to two days of talks, attendees should be aware of two preconference seminars being held on Monday, September 24. I will be attending both.

Morning seminar: The changing carbon black feedstock world and the impact of sourcing on total value, from Shane Perl of The Alpen Group. Covers the impending IMO2020 regulations and how they will affect carbon black feedstock availability and sourcing.

Afternoon seminar: Recovered carbon black – from promise to products, from Martin von Wolfersdorff of Wolfersdorff Consulting. Covers the emerging market for recovered carbon black — a panel discussion group with industry all-stars will discuss the current status, success & application stories and future technology for recovered carbon black from tyre pyrolysis.

September 11, 2018

Himadri adds US distributor for specialty blacks

Filed under: Carbon Black — Notch @ 5:49 pm

Indian carbon black producer Himadri Specialty Chemicals has selected Terra Firma (Towson, MD) as its exclusive distributor for specialty carbon black in Northeastern, Southeastern, and Southwestern United States effective September 6, 2018. The agreement covers carbon black grades with applications in plastics, inks, coatings, and wire and cable. Himadri is expanding both its capacity and grade mix for specialty blacks.

Tire recycler Black Bear is expanding

Filed under: Tire Recycling — Notch @ 4:40 pm

Rubber & Plastics News reports that Black Bear, a Dutch tire recycling company, has raised $12.8 million to refine its recovered carbon black (rCB) technology and start the global roll out of its cradle-to-cradle system. Black Bear has formed a new consortium with four partners: ING Group, investment firms 5square and Social Impact Ventures, and the Thai conglomerate SCG.

Black Bear’s industrial-scale prototype plant is located in Nederweert, Netherlands. It is capable of processing 1 million waste tires annually, thereby producing 5,000 metric tons each of rCB and bio-fuel, 3,000 tons of steel and one megawatt hour of green electricity per year. The new partnership aims to build up to 1,000 such plants worldwide.

Pirelli sells Venezuelan tire plant

Filed under: Tires — Notch @ 4:32 pm

Tire Business reports that Pirelli & C. S.p.A. has “disposed” its tire plant in Guacara, Venezuela, to a consortium of South American entrepreneurs and a company called Sommers International. Pirelli ceased operations at the plant in late August. Pirelli deconsolidated its operations in Venezuela in 2015. The plant produces passenger car and light truck tires.

September 4, 2018

Orion announces leadership change

Filed under: Carbon Black — Notch @ 10:35 pm

Orion Engineered Carbons announced today that Jack L. Clem, 65, who has served as CEO since 2011, will retire from his role. He will be nominated to join the Board of Directors and during a transition period will act as an advisor to the company. Mr. Clem will be replaced as CEO by Corning F. Painter, 55, a longtime senior executive formerly at Air Products and Chemicals, Inc. Mr. Painter also will be nominated to join the Board of Directors. The appointment of Messrs. Clem and Painter to the Board of Directors is subject to approval by shareholders in an extraordinary general meeting to be convened for this purpose on October 16, 2018.

I met Mr. Clem at the first carbon black conference I ever attended (Carbon Black World in Houston in 2004). Though I was unknown in the industry at the time, he came up to me and stuck out his hand and introduced himself, which meant a lot to me. We here at Notch wish him well in all his future endeavors.

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