News from Notch Consulting, Inc.

December 18, 2019

Michelin sets goal of zero CO2 emissions from all plants by 2050

Filed under: General, Tires — Notch @ 11:33 pm

Group Michelin has announced a new global sustainability policy that includes a pledge to reach zero CO2 emissions for all of its plants by 2050. Another goal of the new program: reduce tire-related energy consumption per kilometer traveled by 20% by 2030.

To reduce the carbon footprint of its tire manufacturing, Michelin has a developed a strategy founded on two pillars: consume less, and transition to renewable energy sources. According to the company, these strategies already are being implemented: in Europe, 85% of its plants are powered by electricity that is guaranteed to come from renewable sources. And CO2 emissions were reduced by 22% between 2010 and 2018.

In the future, the company plans to achieve these efforts by improving the energy-efficiency of industrial tools, using more renewable energy, and eliminating coal: currently, 5 out of the company’s 70 sites around the world are still coal-fired. Michelin has launched studies to evaluate the feasibility of replacing coal with another source of primary energy, such as gas or biomass. All Michelin plants will phase out the use of coal by 2030 at the latest.

More information here. 

June 5, 2018

SK Capital Partners to acquire SI International, merge with Addivant

Filed under: General, Rubber Chemicals, Tackifiers — Notch @ 9:28 am

On June 1, New York-based private equity firm SK Capital Partners announced the acquisition of SI Group (Schenectady, NY), a leading supplier of plastic additives and rubber chemicals. The business will be merged with SK’s own Addivant business. The Addivant business is the former antioxidant and light stabilizer business of Chemtura, which SK acquired in 2013. No purchase price for the SI Group deal was announced; the transaction is expected to close in the second half of 2018.

SI Group, which was founded in 1906 as Schenectady Varnish Co., has more than $1 billion in sales and employs more than 2,800 at 20 locations worldwide. Its product lines include plasticizers, flame retardants and antioxidants. It is also the world’s leading supplier of rubber tackifiers.

Barry Siadat, SK co-founder and managing partner, said in a news release that “by combining the complementary strengths of SI Group and Addivant, we will be creating a global technology and industry leader in plastic, lubricant, oilfield and rubber additives.”

April 10, 2018

Toyo Tire & Rubber changes name to Toyo Tire Corporation

Filed under: General, Tires — Notch @ 11:57 am

Toyo Tire & Rubber Co., LTD. has announced that the company name will be changed to Toyo Tire Corporation as of January 1, 2019. The change reflects the company’s aim to expand the scope of business globally and raise the brand status of the company that was born through the merger of Toyo Rubber Industrial and Hirano Rubber Manufacturing in August 1945.

“The automotive industry is currently in what can be considered a once-a-century state of flux. In order to achieve further sustainable growth, we are focusing on the mobility business, such as automotive tires and components,” said Toyo Tire, adding, “We endeavor to bolster its corporate value as well as seeking our own social responsibility and significance by presenting a resolution for Toyo Tire to be a genuinely global brand with renewed pride and reaffirming our responsibility towards the mobility business by taking the opportunity afforded by the company name change coming into effect next January.”

November 1, 2017

China’s pollution crackdown has global impact

Filed under: General — Notch @ 10:27 am

China’s winter pollution shutdown, which began in September and is scheduled through March, is set to continue, according to environmental minister Li Ganjie. “This is not a one-off, it will continue in the future,” Li said.

“These special campaigns are not a one-off, instead it is an exploration of long-term mechanisms. They have proven effective so we will continue with these measures.”

Chinese President Xi Jinping has called for China to become an “ecological civilization.” Chinese cities have a deadline of the end of the year to meet clean air goals set five years ago. Mr Li said the progress made in addressing air pollution was not enough and China’s energy mix was “still dominated by coal” and the proportion of heavy industry too high.

The impact is being felt across China. Entire industrial regions are being temporarily shut down, as inspectors go into the factories to monitor compliance with the environmental laws.

Australian iron ore and coal exports, as well as steel mills and cement makers, are feeling the impact of the slowdown in Chinese demand since the crackdown.

The timing of the shutdowns will also impact supply chains producing goods for the upcoming Christmas season in the U.S.

The hope is that enforcing the laws will not only bring blue skies to China, but that “[F]actories will be better, more sustainable, and more socially responsible after being inspected,” according to Archie Liu, general manager of MKT & Associates, “It’s better for our supply chain. Then we can tell Walmart, Costco, and other retailers of ours that we’re qualified and that everything we make for Americans are environmentally friendly.”

Read referenced articles here and here.

June 9, 2016

Sinorgchem to acquire Emerald’s rubber chemicals business

Filed under: General, Rubber Chemicals — Notch @ 6:00 am

On May 6, Emerald Performance Materials (Cuyahoga Falls, OH) announced an agreement to sell its Specialties and Polymer Additives and Nitriles businesses to DyStar L.P., the US subsidiary of DyStar Global Holdings Pte. Ltd. (Singapore). The sale involves five of the company’s nine plants, specifically the dedicated plants in Charlotte, NC, Cincinnati, OH, Cheyenne, WY, Henry, IL, and a portion of a shared site in Akron, OH.  Terms of the transaction were not disclosed. The sale is expected to close in the third quarter of 2016, subject to standard regulatory approvals.

Rubber & Plastics News has details on this deal. In addition to the transaction mentioned above, DyStar said Jiangsu Sinorgchem Technology Co. Ltd. will acquire the Polymer Additives & Nitriles business. Jiangsu Sinorgchem is a subsidiary of Sinochem Group, a state-owned Chinese chemical company. Emerald Polymer Additives produces Good-Rite antioxidants (phenolics and TMQ) and Cure-Rite accelerators, with applications in rubber, plastics, and lubricants. Plant locations are Henry, Illinois and Akron, Ohio. Emerald’s Specialty Nitrile Latex Polymers is the largest US producer of specialty nitrile latex and butadiene-based emulsion polymers. Applications include paper, coatings, coal tar emulsions, and other industrial applications. These products are produced in Akron, Ohio.

Jiangsu Sinorgchem said acquiring the business group will expand its globalization efforts for the firm’s rubber chemicals business while adding to its capacity, strengthening its global supply system, and enhancing its international marketing and supply capabilities. The acquisition of the nitrile division will give Sinorgchem a solid North American foundation for the manufacture of specialty butadiene and butadiene-acrylonitrile-based latexes.

DyStar, which already has a US headquarters in Charlotte, North Carolina, will retain the Specialties business, which includes three manufacturing plants in Charlotte, North Carolina (foam control products, specialty silicones); Cheyenne, Wyoming (foam control products); and Cincinnati, Ohio (pigment dispersions and dyes).

Financial details on the sales were not disclosed. Officials at Emerald and DyStar said further details would not be released until after the sale closes. After the divestitures are complete, Emerald will consist of two units: CVC Specialty Chemicals (specialty epoxy resins and reactive liquid polymers) and Kalama Chemical (toluene oxidation chemistry).





February 9, 2015

GITI breaking ground on US tire plant

Filed under: General, Tires — Notch @ 7:16 pm

From Tire Business comes word that Giti Tire Group will break ground on Feb. 12 on its new $560 million tire plant near Richburg, Chester County, South Carolina. The plant is being built at the Carolinas I-77 Mega Site and will eventually will span 1.8 million square feet. Giti is receiving $40 million or more in economic benefits from state, county, and local government agencies toward construction of plant in the form of grants toward purchasing the land and “job development credits.” At full capacity, the plant will employ 1,700 workers. Capacity will be 5 million car and light truck tires a year at full capacity. Construction is expected to take 22 months, putting the plant onstream in late 2016 or early 2017.

February 2, 2015

NADA sees low gas prices driving light truck sales in US

Filed under: Auto, General — Notch @ 6:30 am

As reported in Tire Business, the National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) projects that new car and light truck sales in the United States will rise to 16.9 million vehicles in 2015, split 44% for cars and 56% for light trucks and SUVs. NADA pointed to low gas prices, low interest rates, increased job growth, and an improving housing market as being the main drivers for vehicles sales and in particular a shift toward larger vehicles such as light trucks and SUVs. The group also said that its forecast for 2014 of 16.4 million new vehicle sales was on target.

“We expect to see significant growth in sales of light trucks, particularly in the large-size CUV and SUV segments,”said NADA Chief Economist Steven Szakaly at a Jan. 23 press briefing during the NADA Convention & Expo in San Francisco.  “At the end of the day, consumers like the utility and comfort that larger vehicles provide. Lower gasoline prices accelerate that shift.”

“The pickup truck segment, in particular, is expected to benefit from an improving housing market, climbing to a 15.2-percent share this year from 13.7 percent in 2014, NADA said.

On the downside, small and midsized cars are likely to face a tougher market in 2015. Mr. Szakaly said he expects incentives to rise on small and midsize vehicles while hybrid sales are expected to be slower as long as the price of oil remains relatively low.

Midsize cars are expected to decline in share of total light vehicle sales to 17 percent from 18.6 percent, while small cars are expected to lose 1 percent of share.

January 19, 2015

New report covers global market for rubber tackifiers

Filed under: General, Tackifiers — Notch @ 7:00 am

Notch Consulting is pleased to announce the publication of a new market research report, World Markets for Rubber Tackifiers, which provides a detailed analysis of the global market for tackifiers used in the tire and rubber industry. Tackifiers are adhesives used in the construction of tires and certain industrial rubber goods (belts, hoses) where multiple layers must be plied together and remain in place until the product is cured. This 36-page report includes 20 tables detailing rubber tackifier demand by type, market, and region, as well as pricing, industry developments, and market share by company for the total market as well as major segments. Tackifier demand is provided for all years from 2003 through 2013, with forecasts for all years from 2014 through 2020. Note: tackifer demand in this report excludes homogenizers, processing aids, compatibilizers, reinforcing resins, curing resins, and adhesion promoters, as well as all use of tackifiers outside of the tire and rubber sectors. Rubber tackifier types covered in this report are phenolics (including standard types [p-tert-octyl-phenol, or PTOP] and high performance types [p-tert-butyl-phenol]), hydrocarbon resins, rosin esters, and other types (coumarone-indene resins and terpenes). An overview of the report is provided here. Contact Notch Consulting at info@notchconsulting for more information or to order.

January 1, 2015

Happy New Year!

Filed under: General — Notch @ 1:36 pm


December 29, 2014

ExxonMobil to shut French butyl rubber unit in 2015

Filed under: General, Rubber — Notch @ 6:10 am

Rubber News reports that ExxonMobil has confirmed that it plans to close its butyl rubber unit at Notre Dame de Gravenchon, France by the third quarter of 2015. The unit produces regular butyl rubber; the closure will have no effect on the company’s halobutyl operations, where ExxonMobil is the largest producer in the world.

In May 2014, ExxonMobil announced the construction of new units to produce halobutyl rubber and Escorez hydrogenated hydrocarbon resins at its petrochemical complex in Singapore. The rubber unit will have 140,000 tonnes of capacity, while the resins unit will have 90,000 tonnes, primarily for hot melt adhesives. Completion is scheduled for 2017.

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