News from Notch Consulting, Inc.

January 11, 2021

Fire consumes Hexpol Compounding site in Tennessee

Filed under: General, Rubber, Tires — Notch @ 11:17 pm

Hexpol Compounding’s rubber compounding plant in Jonesborough, Tennessee caught fire in the early morning of January 7, causing workers to evacuate and sending one person to the hospital. Thick smoke from the fire was visible for hours as firefighters fought for more than 24 hours to bring the blaze under control.

In a statement, Hexpol said,

Jonesborough, TN, 1/7/20 – At approximately 1:30 am CST on January 7th, HEXPOL’s Jonesborough rubber compounding facility, located in Jonesborough, TN, had a significant fire in the facility.

Emergency protocols were immediately activated, and 22 employees were evacuated from the facility.  One employee is being treated for injuries.  At this time, there are no fatalities.

The cause of the fire is under investigation and HEXPOL is fully cooperating with governmental officials.

Local authorities have begun investigations into the cause of the fire.

Orion raises 4Q guidance on stronger volumes

Filed under: Carbon Black — Notch @ 10:48 pm

Last week, Orion Engineered Carbons raised its fourth-quarter guidance for adjusted EBITDA earnings to a range of $64–67 million, up from the previously issued range of $44–55 million that was included in its third-quarter results on November 5, 2020. 

“Our adjusted guidance is predominantly attributable to our specialty carbon black business unit, driven by considerably higher volumes, which rose low-double digits sequentially,” said Orion’s CEO Corning Painter in a press release. The company also experienced “slightly less” seasonality than anticipated in its rubber carbon black business, where volumes declined mid-single digits sequentially. “We believe both of these trends are an indication that our customers restocked their inventories, to some degree during the quarter, to better manage their supply chains,” he added. 

The temporary nature of restocking, combined with broader uncertainties in the economy, make it difficult to forecast how demand will develop from now on, according to Painter. “However, our current order book indicates a strong January and we expect robust demand as the global economy recovers,” he said.

Orion’s results for the fourth quarter and full fiscal year 2020 will be released on February 18

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