News from Notch Consulting, Inc.

December 21, 2018

Orion implements ‘EPA surcharge’ to North American carbon black prices

Filed under: Carbon Black — Notch @ 12:17 am

Orion Engineered Carbons has announced that it is adding an Environmental Compliance Surcharge or “EPA surcharge” to its price agreements for all customers of products produced in North America for 2019.

The surcharge is intended to offset the incremental variable costs associated with Orion’s compliance with its 2017 consent decree with the US Environmental Protection Agency and the US Department of Justice. The company will review the surcharge on a quarterly basis for adjustment as costs become known. Orion Engineered Carbons will implement a 1.5 cent ($0.015) per pound EPA Surcharge, or price adjustment, as of April 1st, 2019. The Surcharge will be added to all invoices for customers purchasing products produced by one of Orion’s plants in North America and sold by our Rubber and Specialty Carbon Black business units.

Tokai Carbon CB Ltd. (formerly Sid Richardson) also has announced plans to implement a surcharge for North American customers to cover approximately $100 million in environmental investments at its three US plants.

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December 19, 2018

Goodyear closes Venezuela factory; government plans to re-start operations

Filed under: Tires — Tags: — Notch @ 11:09 pm

Citing economic conditions and the negative effects of U.S. sanctions on Venezuela, Goodyear’s Venezuelan subsidiary, CA Goodyear de Venezuela, is ceasing production at its 62-year-old factory in Valencia.

“Goodyear-Venezuela has made the difficult decision to stop producing tires,” the Ohio-based company said in a statement. “Our goal had been to maintain its operations, but economic conditions and U.S. sanctions have made this impossible.”

Immediately after Goodyear announced its closure, Venezuela’s government said it would reactivate the company’s assembly line in an attempt to preserve some of the 1160 jobs that will be lost.

However, Goodyear workers aren’t holding their breath. The government has made similar pledges following other plant closures in the past only to see its efforts fall short.

December 18, 2018

Cancarb expanding thermal black capacity

Filed under: Carbon Black — Notch @ 11:45 pm

Last week, Cancarb Limited, a subsidiary of Japan-based Tokai Carbon, announced that it is adding a sixth production unit for thermal carbon black at its plant in Medicine Hat, Alberta, Canada. Engineering and construction on the unit will begin immediately and is scheduled for completion by the summer of 2020. The new unit will add 9,000 tons per year of capacity to bring plant capacity to 54,000 tons per year. The unit will produce Cancarb’s Thermax medium thermal carbon black. The new unit also will add 5 MW of recovered waste heat power for a plant total of 32.5 MW.

December 13, 2018

Continental Opens Research Laboratory for Dandelion Rubber

Filed under: Rubber, Tires — Notch @ 2:52 pm

Continental A.G. has inaugurated its laboratory in Anklam, Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, Germany, for research into the production of rubber from the Russian dandelion, one year after breaking ground on the 323,000-sq.-ft. facility.

The Taraxagum Lab Anklam, which represents an investment of nearly $40 million, is dedicated to the study of dandelion rubber farming and extraction methods, working toward producing an alternative to traditional rubber tree plantations in the tropics.

Nikolai Setzer, a member of the Continental board and head of its Tire division, noted that the company intends to use dandelion rubber routinely within the next 10 years. The ultimate goal, he added, is for Taraxagum-branded products to meet a significant part of the company’s natural rubber requirement.

“We see Russian dandelion as an important alternative and complement to conventional natural rubber from hevea brasiliensis to allow us to meet rising global demand in an environmentally compatible and reliable way,” Mr. Setzer said.

Read the full press release here.

Nokian opens North American headquarters in Nashville

Filed under: Tires — Notch @ 2:04 pm

Nokian Tires P.L.C. has opened its North American headquarters in Nashville, to house the company’s sales, customer service, IT, logistics, and marketing teams. The Finnish tire maker’s previous North American headquarters in Colchester, Vt., will continue to serve as an office and distribution warehouse.

“We are pleased to be a member of the Nashville and Tennessee business communities, and we look forward to deepening relationships here and continuing our successful growth,” said Mark Earl, senior vice president, Americas.

Nokian recently revealed its plan to double sales in North America over the next five years. The plan will be boosted in 2020, when Nokian’s first U.S. plant is slated to open in Dayton Tenn., around two hours from Nashville.

Read the full press release here.

Cooper Tire and Sailun form joint venture for Vietnam TBR plant

Filed under: Tires — Tags: — Notch @ 1:41 pm

Cooper Tire & Rubber Company is forming a joint venture with Sailun Vietnam Co, Ltd to build a two million capacity truck and bus radial manufacturing plant. Pending closing and government approvals, the facility will be located near Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, at the site of Sailun Vietnam’s existing operations, which early in 2018 signed an offtake agreement to produce Roadmaster, Dean and Starfire brand tires for Cooper.

Sailun Vietnam operates two factories in Vietnam, including the Chinese manufacturer’s first outside its domestic market, located on Phuoc Dong Industrial Park, Tay Ninh Province, and manufactures car, truck, and OTR tires, with facilities for technical research for future product development.

Cooper will own 35 per cent of the new venture. Total investment in facility and equipment in the joint venture is expected to be between $220 and $240 million. Cooper said it would be funded through capital contributions and debt, with Cooper being responsible for its pro rata share.

Construction of the facility is expected to begin in early 2019, with production beginning in the first half of 2020.

Referenced article found here.

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