News from Notch Consulting, Inc.

November 11, 2017

Himadri Speciality looks to invest ₹628 crore for brownfield expansion

Filed under: Carbon Black — Notch @ 5:22 pm

Himadri Speciality Chemical Ltd, a Kolkata-based integrated specialty carbon company, is looking to invest ₹628 crore for brownfield expansion of its carbon black and advance carbon material units in West Bengal.

According to Anurag Choudhary, CEO, Himadri Speciality, the details regarding the proportion of debt and equity for the capital expenditure would be finalised within a month.

The estimated investment for scaling up its carbon black unit by 30,000 tons a year to 1.5 lakh ton would be close to ₹148 crore. The remaining ₹480 crore (out of ₹628 crore) would go towards 20,000 tons a year capacity addition at its advance carbon material unit.

Referenced article found here.


Cancarb names COPCI as distributor for France

Filed under: Carbon Black — Notch @ 3:45 pm

Cancarb Ltd. has chosen COPCI S.A.S. as its authorized distributor for Thermax brand thermal carbon black in France, effective Feb. 15.

“Our new partnership with COPCI S.A.S. will re-energize our efforts in marketing Cancarb’s Thermax® products in France,” said Ken Tate, Cancarb President. “COPCI will offer Cancarb’s customers a superior customer service experience, as well as technical assistance and complementary products. COPCI is owned by Cancarb’s German distribution Nordmann, Rassmann GmbH providing the advantages of a more pan-European presence.”

Read the full press release here.

November 2, 2017

Cabot Corporation to Acquire Tech Blend

Filed under: Carbon Black — Notch @ 8:52 am

Cabot Corporation has announced it is purchasing Tech Blend, a producer of black masterbatches based in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Québec, for approximately $64 million. The acquisition extends Cabot’s global footprint in black masterbatch and compounds; provides a platform to serve global customers and grow in conductive formulations; and offers Tech Blend resources and capabilities to support growth.

The company will be managed as part of Cabot’s global specialty compounds business within the Performance Chemicals segment.

“This bolt-on acquisition is a great example of our ‘Advancing the Core’ strategy,” said Cabot President and Chief Executive Officer Sean Keohane. “This acquisition will not only strengthen our global leadership position in black masterbatches and compounds and provide a platform from which to better serve global customers, but it will also support our strategy of driving application innovation with our customers.”

Read the full press release here.

Konimpex opens new logistics center in Poland

Filed under: Carbon Black, Rubber Chemicals — Notch @ 7:28 am

Konimpex Ltd., a distributor of raw materials and chemicals for the tire and rubber sector, has opened a new logistics center in Kolo, Poland.

“The logistic operation supports the supply of black and white parts, for carbon black and other materials respectively,” said Konimpex. An ‘up-to date’ decanting station is already in operation along with other enhanced materials-handling and warehousing capabilities, added a company statement.

Established in Poland in 1989, Konimpex is a distributor of products including carbon black and synthetic rubber, serving the global tire and rubber sector.

Recently the company has started offering new logistics services, in addition to its distribution activities, including the delivery of fillers for the tire industry.

Referenced article found here.

October 19, 2017

China’s Black Cat to build carbon black research institute

Filed under: Carbon Black — Notch @ 12:14 pm

ERJ reports that China’s largest carbon black maker Black Cat is planning to break ground on a research institute in Qingdao, Shandong province by the end of this year.

The company told ERJ that it plans to invest $23 million (156 million yuan) into the Black Cat New Materials Institute specializing in nanocarbon composite materials and carbon nanocubes.

The new site is located in Qingdao’s Sino-German Ecopark with a roughly 290,600-sq.-ft. area. Phase one of the project includes a research lab and pilot trial plant; Phase two includes another pilot trial plant and an office building.

According to the company, each pilot trial plant has 5,000 metric ton annual capacity. The project is expected to fully come on stream in 2019.

Sourced article found here (subscription required).

September 21, 2017

Cabot Opens Asia Technology Center in Shanghai

Filed under: Carbon Black, Rubber — Notch @ 12:51 pm

On September 14, Cabot Corporation officially opened its new Asia technology center on the campus of its regional headquarters in Shanghai.

The nearly 48,500-sq.-ft. technology center will enhance Cabot’s application development capabilities and will provide a “collaboration platform to deliver innovative solutions” to customers throughout Asia Pacific.

Bringing together approximately 30 researchers and scientists from all of Cabot’s businesses, the lab will support Cabot product lines including rubber and specialty carbons, fumed metal oxides, masterbatch and compounds, activated carbon and inkjet colorants with testing and development capabilities that closely represent Cabot’s customer applications.

“This investment in China is strategically important to our ability to deliver on our vision and goal of driving application innovation with our customers by developing solutions that deliver advanced performance,” President and CEO Sean Keohane said.

Read the full press release here.

September 8, 2017

Safic-Alcan extends carbon black deal with Orion

Filed under: Carbon Black — Notch @ 12:57 pm

Safic-Alcan Deutschland and Safic-Alcan Belgium, subsidiaries of the Safic-Alcan Group, have announced an extended distribution agreement with Orion Engineered Carbons effective October 1st.

The new agreement will focus on distribution to rubber customers and will include the regions DACH (Germany, Austria and Switzerland) and Benelux, in addition to the already-covered regions of France and the UK.

“With this step, we underline our commitment to the rubber industry and are confident that the excellent service offered by Safic-Alcan is ideally suited to the performance of our products,” stated Udo Engels, Vice President EMEA, Rubber Carbon Black, Orion Engineered Carbons GmbH.

The full press release can be found here(pdf).

Birla Carbon’s greenfield plant commences operations in China

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

Birla Carbon announced today that it has started operations at its greenfield carbon black facility in Jining, China.

Said Mr. Kumar Mangalam Birla, Chairman, Aditya Birla Group, “While the Aditya Birla Group has always had a presence in China, we have not leveraged the potential that both we as a Group and China as a marketplace had to offer. We are delighted to have finally taken the right step to invest in a meaningful way in this great country of culture, history and civilization.” He further stated, “The Jining plant is well ahead of its time, whether it be the manufacturing processes involved or the environmental standards it follows. Everything that we have learned over our 150 plus years of manufacturing carbon black around the world has been poured into this facility. It is, in a manner of speaking, our magnum opus.”

China is one of the largest and fastest-growing markets for carbon black with a forecast to grow at a CAGR of 7% by 2021. The new production plant will exclusively cater to the Chinese customer base and will accommodate the growing demands for superior quality, technical solutions and performance.

The Birla Carbon Jining plant will produce traditional ASTM (American Society for Testing and Materials) grades and specific Birla Carbon grades for customers in China. The ASTM grades will focus on the tire industry while many of the Birla Carbon grades will support mechanical rubber goods and other customer requirements.

The plant, which currently has an installed capacity of 120,000 metric tons, will expand to 240,000 metric tons in phase 2.

Read full press release here.

August 31, 2017

Impact of Hurricane Harvey on US Carbon Black industry

Filed under: Carbon Black — Notch @ 8:49 pm

My thoughts and prayers go out to all of the people affected by Hurricane Harvey. The images of not only the devastation but also the resilience and generosity of the people of Texas and Louisiana is humbling.

Here is an update on the effect that the hurricane is having on the US carbon black industry. Concern has been high as nearly 80% of US carbon black capacity is located in Texas and Louisiana and supplies in the US market are already tight.

As of Thursday morning, Harvey — now downgraded to a Tropical Depression — was over northern Louisiana on a northeasterly route that will take it through northern Mississippi and central Tennessee and into West Virginia/southern Ohio by Friday evening. The storm made its final landfall around 3:30 AM CDT Wednesday morning near Cameron, Louisiana, which is about 240 miles west of New Orleans.

The path of the storm raised concerns about four CB plants:

  • Orion Engineered Carbons’ plants in Orange, TX and Ivanhoe, LA
  • Cabot Corporation’s plant in Franklin, LA, and
  • Columbian Chemicals’ plant in Franklin, LA

Of these, Orion’s Orange, TX plant was most directly in the storm’s path. On Wednesday afternoon, company sources indicated that Orange had to be shut down temporarily due to an external power outage. Around noon on Thursday, company sources said that power would be restored on Thursday afternoon and the plant restart process would begin immediately thereafter. The plant itself sustained no damage, and raw material supplies are secure. The three coastal Louisiana plants (Orion Ivanhoe, Cabot Franklin, and Columbian Franklin), which are grouped close together just west of New Orleans, were largely unaffected.

Additionally, two US CB suppliers with office space in Houston reported no flooding and expected office hours to resume soon.

With carbon black capacity largely unaffected, the longer term effects of the storm relate to three issues:

1. Feedstock issues: more than 30% of US refining capacity was directly affected by the storm, particularly in the Houston, Corpus Christi, and Baytown areas but also in Beaumont and Port Arthur. Potential issues include flooding, disrupted crude oil supplies, and power outages. Despite these issues, as of Thursday, none of the CB suppliers I spoke with had been notified of potential problems with feedstock deliveries, but obviously those issues may still arise as refining capacity is assessed.

2. Other raw material issues: It is possible that the storm may cause shortages of other key raw materials, including butadiene and synthetic rubber, and that may cause problems for tire plants that would affect carbon black deliveries.

3. Logistical issues: Shipping channels, rail lines, and trucking routes have been affected by flooding. No word yet on severity, but obviously these issues could reverberate down the entire supply chain over the next few weeks.


August 30, 2017

Pyrolyx begins construction of recovered carbon black plant in U.S.

Filed under: Carbon Black, Tire Recycling — Notch @ 10:42 am

Pyrolyx A.G. has begun construction of a recovered carbon black plant in Terre Haute, Indiana. The German company said once fully operational, the facility can produce nearly 13 metric tons of carbon black per year at full capacity and will be capable of recycling about 4 million tires a year, with a staff of 55.

Pyrolyx will finance the project with the proceeds of $30.2 million in Economic Development Solid Waste Facility Revenue Bonds issued by a U.S. subsidiary, Pyrolyx USA Indiana L.L.C., the company said.

Niels Raeder, CEO of the Pyrolyx Group said: “By building its second plant – now in the USA, the Pyrolyx Group is emphasizing its global expansion plans. The increase in its production capacity will uniquely allow Pyrolyx to meet the growing demand for recovered carbon black. Even before construction begins, we have signed long-term purchase contracts for Pyrolyx rCB.”

Pyrolyx expects the plant to be in operation by May 2019.

Read the full press release here.

Sourced article found here.

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