News from Notch Consulting, Inc.

March 8, 2022

Orion Engineered Carbons issues statement on Ukraine/Russia conflict

Filed under: Carbon Black — Notch @ 11:34 pm

On Monday, March 7, Orion Engineered Carbons issued a statement on the conflict in Ukraine. The statement is presented in its entirety below.

How are natural gas prices in Europe impacting your business?

On a net basis, our business in Europe is facing an overall manageable headwind from current energy pricing developments. We have hedging programs in place and for our formula and nonformula customers, natural gas costs are part of our pricing negotiations.

Do you have assets in Russia or Ukraine?

No. We do not have any direct risk exposure in Russia or Ukraine.

Do you import Carbon Black Oil as feedstock from Russia?

No, we do not.

How much of your business in Europe is spot versus contracted?

Spot is less than ten percent of our business in Europe.

Do you have any capacity available for customers who need to move their business from Russia or Ukraine to Europe?

Our capacity remains tight in Europe. However, our new production line in Ravenna Italy was recently commissioned which adds capacity to the region and the line should be filled sooner than anticipated.

Do you have Ukrainian or Russian customers which you no longer deliver to?

Historically, Orion’s business activities in Ukraine and Russia have been very limited. Our few Russian customers have been informed that deliveries to them have been discontinued.

March 4, 2022

Orion commissioning new carbon black line in Italy

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

ERJ reports that Orion Engineered Carbons is commissioning a new 25,000 ton/year reactor for speciality and technical rubber carbon black production at its facility in Ravenna, Italy. The plant will start operations the first week of March and will serve primarily the European market. Additional investments at the 60-year-old plant include a new co-generation facility to convert waste heat into electricity, generating up to 120 MWh of green electricity per year. Roughly 7% of the power generated at the plant will be supplied to the national grid.

The article states that the facility in Italy marks the first new reactor for carbon black production in the European Union in over 40 years. This statement is technically correct, but it should be noted that in 1994 two new carbon black plants started up in Europe: a Cabot factory in Valasske Mezirici, Czech Republic and a Columbian Chemicals factory in Tiszaújváros, Hungary. Neither the Czech Republic nor Hungary were members of the European Union at the time — both countries joined in 2004. Both of these plants have been expanded since they were built: CS Cabot in the Czech Republic was expanded 1996 and 2002, while the Columbian factory in Hungary was expanded in 2008 and 2012. The Hungary plant is now part of Birla Carbon and recently celebrated its 25-year anniversary.

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