News from Notch Consulting, Inc.

January 11, 2021

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

December 17, 2020

Orion adds cogen unit at Qingdao

Filed under: Carbon Black — Notch @ 1:53 pm

Orion Engineered Carbons has completed a multi-year upgrade to its carbon black plant in Qingdao, China. The project included the installation of a state-of-the-art cogeneration unit, which recovers energy from the production process to generate electricity for use internally at the plant as well as up to 5,000 homes in the district. This is the second cogen unit Orion has started up recently, following another project completed in October at its Borger, Texas plant.

December 2, 2020

Mitsubishi invests in Monolith Materials for clean hydrogen production

Filed under: Carbon Black, General — Notch @ 12:39 am

Monolith Materials (Lincoln, Nebraska) has announced an investment from Mitsubishi Heavy Industries America to support its innovative commercial-scale, emissions-free hydrogen manufacturing technology. The announcement is the latest in a series of recent strategic investments made by MHI in support of achieving a decarbonized world. Monolith Materials is the first U.S. manufacturer to produce a clean, industry-transforming hydrogen known as “turquoise hydrogen” on a commercial scale.

“Successfully scaling Monolith’s technology to serve a global marketplace will benefit from the kind of investment that we have from MHI,” said Rob Hanson, co-founder and CEO of Monolith Materials. “This relationship will be a model for evaluating future investment opportunities to make emissions-free hydrogen the standard around the world.”

Through an innovative and proprietary breakthrough in commercial-scale methane pyrolysis, Monolith is now manufacturing emissions-free, economically sustainable hydrogen using 100% renewable energy. Monolith’s hydrogen is classified as “turquoise hydrogen,” which meets the industry standard for the cleanest hydrogen available today.

Monolith Materials, which was founded in 2012, developed a process technology that converts natural gas into clean hydrogen and carbon black. The company is currently in the operating stage of Olive Creek 1 (OC1), its first commercial-scale emissions-free production facility designed to produce approximately 14,000 metric tons of carbon black annually along with clean hydrogen. In addition to producing carbon black and clean hydrogen, the company recently announced its plans to produce emissions-free ammonia at a second phase production facility known as Olive Creek 2 (OC2) in Hallam, Nebraska.

 

November 19, 2020

Bolder Industries and Continental Carbon announce marketing agreement for recovered carbon black

Filed under: Carbon Black, Recovered Carbon Black — Notch @ 3:09 am

Bolder Industries (Boulder, Colorado) and Continental Carbon Company (Houston, Texas) this week announced a co-marketing agreement to commercialize a new line of Continental’s furnace black products that will incorporate Bolder Black’s recovered carbon black in the blend. This is a first in the carbon black industry and follows five years of research and development work, according to Bolder. The line will include N550, N650, N660, N762, and N774 grades, with markets in both the rubber and plastics markets. Customers will be able to select pre-blended fillers customized at various ratios. Bolder’s BolderBlack is produced from 100% post-consumer or post-industrial tires and rubber scrap. Continental Carbon is one of the largest carbon black producers in the United States.

“We have always believed in partnering with the traditional carbon black manufacturers to support the end customer. We can now provide a unique solution to tire companies, industrial rubber goods, and plastics manufacturers ​at a large scale,” said Tony Wibbeler, founder and CEO of Bolder Industries, in a press release announcing the venture. On October 27, 2020, Bolder Industries agreed to merge with GigCapital2, Inc. and become a publicly traded company.

“We have been impressed by the quality, consistency, and manufacturing prowess of Bolder Industries and strongly believe this is an​ important step toward a more profitable and sustainable future for the rubber and plastics industry. This strategic partnership allows us to offer soft-grade blends into a marketplace that desperately needs to provide a closed-loop solution,” said CCC President Dennis Hetu.

 

 

 

November 12, 2020

Carbon Black China 2020 conference rescheduled for December

Filed under: Carbon Black, Conferences — Notch @ 10:33 pm

The Carbon Black China 2020 conference, originally scheduled for April and postponed due to COVID-19, has been rescheduled for December 14-17, 2020. The conference will be held at the Xinglinwan Hotel, Xiaman, Fujian, China. The conference is implementing strict protocols for attendance, including requiring masks and temperature detectors upon entry, as well as requiring attendees to provide proof of health upon arrival. This is an excellent, well organized, and comprehensive conference, and is highly recommended for those who can attend. Notch Consulting will present a virtual paper at the conference on global carbon black supply and demand.

October 14, 2020

Orion completes cogen upgrade at Borger, TX plant

Filed under: Carbon Black — Notch @ 9:44 pm

On October 13, Orion Engineered Carbons announced the completion of a cogeneration project at its carbon black plant in Borger, Texas. The new cogen unit uses tail gas from the carbon black production process to produce electrical power. Orion did not provide details on the size of the unit, but it will provide enough electricity to run the plant, with the excess provided back to the regional grid for local use.

October 12, 2020

Carbon Black World conference postponed to 2021

Filed under: Carbon Black, Conferences, Coronavirus/COVID-19 — Notch @ 9:53 pm

The Carbon Black World 2020 conference, which was originally scheduled to be held November 10-12, 2020 in Charlotte, North Carolina, has been postponed to a still-to-be determined date in 2021 due to disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Smithers, the organizer, made the announcement on October 8. The Carbon Black World conference is held every other year and typically moves back and forth between Europe and North America. The last CBW conference was held in September 2018 in Dusseldorf, Germany. Smithers plans to hold a number of webinars dedicated to carbon black in the coming weeks. Details to follow as they become available.

September 29, 2020

Cabot raising specialty black prices worldwide

Filed under: Carbon Black — Notch @ 5:56 pm

On September 28, 2020, Cabot Corporation announced that, effective November 1, 2020, or as customer contracts allow, the company will increase prices by up to 8% on all carbon black products sold by its specialty carbons business globally.

The company said the price increase is necessary to address substantially increasing costs including specific input costs as well as operating costs driven by global, industry-wide strengthening of emissions compliance standards, including SOX and NOX air pollution controls in the United States, Phase IV of the EU Emission Trading scheme, and efforts throughout Asia to reduce pollution in accordance with local laws and permitting programs.

September 23, 2020

Tire Tech Expo delayed until June 2021

Filed under: Carbon Black, Conferences, Coronavirus/COVID-19, General — Notch @ 8:32 pm

Tire Technology Expo, originally scheduled to be held at the Deutsche Messe, Hannover in March 2021, has been rescheduled to June 8-10, 2021, as a result of the still fluid Covid-19 situation across Europe. In addition to the in-person Expo coming in June, the group is planning several Virtual Conferences and Virtual Technology Showcases, which will be announced shortly. 

Last week, the group successfully held the Testing Expo China Automotive show in Shanghai, which attracted 230 exhibitor stands and 8,000 visitors over three days.

 

 

September 20, 2020

International Tar Association to hold free virtual conference this week

Filed under: Carbon Black, Conferences, General — Notch @ 10:07 pm

The International Tar Association (ITA) will hold a 2020 Virtual Conference on Tuesday, September 22nd at 7:45 am EST – 11:15 am EST. There is no registration fee to attend the conference, which will consist of six presentations from industry experts providing updates on the coal tar, coal tar distillation, and related industries. The conference will include PDF copies of each paper and a chat function for questions. Register here.

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