News from Notch Consulting, Inc.

July 20, 2020

Tokai Carbon CB reaches key milestones in environmental projects

Filed under: Carbon Black — Notch @ 8:15 am

Tokai Carbon CB (Fort Worth, Texas), the largest carbon black company in the US, announced today that it has reached several environmental milestones at its three US carbon black plants, which are located in Addis, Louisiana; Big Spring, Texas; and Borger, Texas. These projects are part of the company’s Consent Decree regarding NOX and SO2 emissions as negotiated with the EPA and the DOJ.

TCCB said that particulate emission detection instruments and operating procedures are in place to monitor and reduce particulate emissions at all three plants. In addition:

  • Big Spring has installed and is already continually operating NOX reduction equipment.
  • Work at Borger is in process and is scheduled to be finished by April 2021 for NOX and SO2 reductions. NOX and SO2 emissions will be dramatically reduced in Hutchinson County upon completion.
  • At Addis, NOX and SO2 reduction equipment will be ordered by the end of 2020 and installation is expected to be completed by the end of 2022. Completion of this project will dramatically reduce NOX and SO2 in the West Baton Rouge parish of Louisiana.
  • In addition, TCCB is investing $25 million to install power generating equipment for the Addis plant, which will reduce the plant’s Green House Gas (GHG) emissions. While reduction of GHG’s is not part of the consent decree, this project will have a large positive impact on the environment in the Baton Rouge area. After completion of the Addis project, TCCB will have process gas generated electricity at all three plants, exporting electricity at two facilities.

TCCB already has invested more than $50 million on environmental projects for its US plants and plans to spend another $73 million by the end of 2022 to meet its agreements. Including the cogen project at Addis, the company’s full investment related to these projects will total $148 million by the end of 2022.


July 17, 2020

COVID causes steep drop in European replacement tire sales in 2Q

Filed under: Coronavirus/COVID-19, Tires — Notch @ 6:13 pm

On July 14, the European Tyre and Rubber Manufacturers’ Association (ETRMA) released data for its members replacement tire sales for the second quarter of 2020. The figures show that the COVID-19 pandemic caused the worst sales results in the history of ETRMA.

Comparing the second quarter of 2020 to Q2 2019, passenger car tires sales declined by 31%, while the decline for the first half of 2020 was 22%. In truck tires, Q2 sales declined 23%, while sale for the first half of 2020 were down 14%. Agricultural tires fared the best, seeing a decline of just 4% in Q2 and 9% for the first half of 2020.

After having been shut for an average of 33 days due to Covid-19, all tyre manufacturers in Europe slowly resumed their production in May when most European countries eased their lockdowns. As a result, there was a slight upward trend in tyre replacement sales visible towards the end of the quarter. Whether this trend will hold remains to be seen in the coming months. Being a global industry, the recovery of the tyre sector is not just dependent on Europe’s situation but how other parts of the world and global trade routes continue to be impacted by and address the pandemic.


EU auto registrations down 38% in first half of 2020

Filed under: Auto, Coronavirus/COVID-19 — Notch @ 5:49 pm

On July 16, the European Automobile Manufacturers Association released data on registrations of new passenger cars in the EU for June and for the first half of 2020. For the first six months of 2020, registrations were down 38.1% relative to the same period of 2018. Declines for the individual months are below:

  • January: -7.5%
  • February: -7.4%
  • March: -55.1%
  • April: -76.3%
  • May: -52.3%
  • June: -22.3%

Over the first half of 2020, EU demand for new passenger cars contracted by 38.1%, the result of four consecutive months of unprecedented declines across the region. Among the four major EU markets, Spain saw the biggest decline (-50.9%) so far this year, followed by Italy (-46.1%), France (-38.6%) and Germany (-34.5%).

July 10, 2020

Orion completes air emissions project at Orange

Filed under: Carbon Black — Notch @ 6:00 am

On July 9, Orion Engineered Carbons S.A. announced that it has successfully completed a significant upgrade of its emissions controls at its plant in Orange, Texas. As a result of these actions, the site complies with strengthened environmental standards which reduce the site’s emission permits for NOx and SO2 by 2,300 metric tons of air pollutant emissions per year. Technology installed at the facility includes a thermal oxidizer that is more effective than the incinerator which was previously used to reduce the pollutants. In addition, the company installed a Selective Catalytic Reduction reactor to reduce the emission of NOx. The project spanned from the middle of 2019 and is now fully operational.

July 9, 2020

Birla Carbon announces global restructuring

Filed under: Carbon Black — Notch @ 12:22 pm

This week, Birla Carbon (Mumbai, India & Marietta, GA) announced a global restructuring program. The company will transition to a global functional organization from one which previously operated in five global geographic regions. In a press release announcing the move, Dr. Santrupt B. Misra, Chief Executive Officer, Birla Carbon, said, “The Birla Carbon business has always been keenly focused on our customers and we believe that these changes will allow us to bring a greater focus to those relationships in a way that will lead to even greater innovation and partnership.”

The press release included the following management changes:

  • John Davidson, currently the President of the Europe and Africa Region, will become the Chief Sales and Marketing Officer and will continue to report to John Loudermilk, Birla Carbon’s Chief Operating Officer. Mr. Davidson will be responsible for all sales and marketing aspects of the company supported by a team of sales leaders, market sector leaders, and marketing leaders positioned around the world.
  • Sanjeev Sood, currently the President of the South Asia Region, will become the Chief Manufacturing Officer for Asia.
  • Dale Clark, currently Chief Technology Officer, will become the Chief Manufacturing Officer for Americas, Europe, and Africa.
  • Ronaldo Duarte, President of the South America Region, will be retiring from Birla Carbon later in the year after serving more than 40 years in a variety of leadership roles.
  • Mark Bass, President of the North America Region, and Todd Cottrell, President of Specialty and North Asia, are both leaving Birla Carbon to pursue other opportunities.

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