News from Notch Consulting, Inc.

March 12, 2021

Birla Carbon raising specialty black prices

Filed under: Carbon Black, General — Notch @ 7:37 pm

On March 11, Birla Carbon (Mumbai, India & Marietta, GA) announced an increase in specialty black prices. The worldwide price increase of up to 9% will become effective April 19, 2021, and all shipments made on or after this date are subject to the increase. Birla said that the increase is necessary due to the increasing costs of doing business in all regions.

March 4, 2021

Carbon Black Asia Webinar coming next week

Filed under: Carbon Black, Conferences, Coronavirus/COVID-19, General — Notch @ 6:00 am

Notch is participating in a webinar scheduled for Wednesday, March 10. The webinar will consist of three presentations covering the current carbon black and carbon black feedstock situation in Asia: Paul Ita of Notch Consulting will cover Asia Carbon Black Supply/Demand; Shane Perl of ALPEN Group will cover feedstocks; and Martin von Wolfersdorff of Wolfersdorff Consulting will cover customer mapping in Asia and green carbons. After the presentations we will have a short discussion followed by question/answer. The pricing for the webinar is a very affordable €29. The start time on March 10th, 2021 at 06h00 (Berlin), 10h30 (Dehli), 13h00 (Shanghai), 14h00 (Tokyo), 16h00 (Sydney), 0h00 (New York). If that time does not suit you, you can watch the replay recording any time. You can find more information and register here.

February 22, 2021

Goodyear acquiring Cooper for $2.5B

Filed under: General, Tires — Notch @ 10:35 pm

Goodyear Tire & Rubber announced today that it has reached an agreement to buy Cooper Tire & Rubber Co. for $2.5 billion. Akron-based Goodyear is the third largest tiremaker in the world with annual sales totaling $13.7 billion in 2019, while Cooper ranked 13th worldwide with annual sales of $2.75 billion in 2019. The purchase has been approved by the Board of Directors of both companies. The combined company will have approximately $17.5 billion in sales, based on 2019 figures, according to Goodyear.

February 17, 2021

BKT expanding capacity for tires and carbon black in India

Filed under: Carbon Black, General, Tires — Notch @ 12:46 am

Balkrishna Industries Ltd. has announced a capital investment plan valued at $257 million that will increase capacity for OTR tires and carbon black in India.

The program has three components:

BKT will invest $108 million to boost capacity for 51- and 57-inch OTR tires at the factory in Bhuj, Gujarat, along with debottlenecking and the installation of additional ancillary equipment. Overall capacity will be expanded by 50,000 metric tons per year.

BKT will spend $60 million on modernization, automation and technology upgrades at Bhuj and another tire plant in Bhiwadi, Rajasthan.

BKT will spend $88 million to expand capacity at a carbon black plant located at the Bhuj factory complex. Capacity will increase to 200,000 tons per year. The plant started up in 2019. The company did not release a completion date for this project.

In addition, BKT is nearing completion on a new farm/industrial/OTR tire plant being built in Waluj, Maharashtra, which will replace a 30-year-old facility nearby. BKT said it expects the plant to be operational by the first quarter of 2022 with a start-up capacity of 30,000 metric tons per year.

Finally, BKT’s board of directors confirmed that the company’s proposed tire factory to be built in the United States, which was first proposed in 2018, has been shelved due to “business uncertainties.”

February 16, 2021

Sumitomo expanding tire capacity in NY, Thailand, and Japan

Filed under: Carbon Black, General, Rubber, Rubber Chemicals, Silica, Tires — Notch @ 11:11 pm

Sumitomo Rubber Industries Ltd. (Kobe, Japan) plans to invest $122 million over three years to increase capacity for passenger car, light truck, and medium truck tires at its factory in Tonawanda, New York. Sumitomo is budgeting $96 million to raise capacity for car and light truck tires from 6,500 units/day to 12,000 units/day by year-end 2023, as well as another $26 million to raise truck tire capacity from 1,750 units/day to 2,300 units/day by year-end 2024.

In a press release announcing the project, Sumitomo said the expansions were driven by strong demand in North America for its light truck, SUV, and medium truck tires. In particular, sales of the company’s Falken-brand high-performance tires continued to expand steadily in 2020 despite the impact of COVID-19.

In Asia, Sumitomo is expanding capacity for light truck and SUV tires at plants in Amati, Thailand, and Miyazaki, Japan. With the expansions, Sumitomo will have capacity to produce 4,150 units/day at the plant in Thailand by year-end 2023 and 1,600 units/day at the plant in Japan by year end 2024. These expansions will primarily be used to supply the North American market.

February 7, 2021

Linglong’s Serbian tire plant attracts EU environmental scrutiny

Filed under: Carbon Black, General, Rubber Chemicals, Tires — Notch @ 1:12 pm

Shandong Linglong Tire Co.’s new tire plant in Zrenjanin, Serbia is attracting new environmental scrutiny as 26 members of the European Parliament have called on the legislative body to enforce existing environmental laws at the construction site. In a letter to EP Commissioner Oliver Varhelyi, the members, which collectively represent 15 EU nations, catalogued various complaints related to the plant’s construction and permitting, including issues with environmental impact and water usage. The letter calls upon the EP to require the Serbian government to “provide a clear action plan moving forward on how they are going to address the existing issues outlined above, as well as a commitment to honoring and following both their own domestic legislation and the regulations passed down as part of the EU accession process.”

Linglong broke ground in April 2019 on the $994 million factory, which will produce 12 million car tires, 1.6 million truck/bus tires, and 20,000 OTR tires per year at full capacity.

February 3, 2021

Nokian Tyres to introduce tire made entirely from eco-friendly materials by 2025

Filed under: Carbon Black, General, Recovered Carbon Black, Tires — Notch @ 6:00 am

On January 28, Nokian Tyres announced a plan to introduce a concept tire made entirely from renewable and recycled materials by 2025. In a press release announcing the initiative, Nokian Tyres stressed that it has designed tires from a sustainable point of view for years. The company already uses bio-based materials such as canola oil in its tires and actively researches new eco-friendly materials as well the utilization of recycled materials. Nokian also selects raw materials from sustainable sources, seeks to decrease emissions and waste from production, and scrutinizes its logistics and outlet channels for efficiency. The company already stresses the development of tires that are as fuel-efficient as possible and made of durable, environmentally friendly materials. Nokian Tyres invented the world’s first winter tire in 1934.

 

Monolith Materials hosting webinar on its novel approach to carbon black manufacturing

Filed under: Carbon Black, General — Notch @ 2:33 am

Monolith Materials, a new US producer of carbon black through a novel pyrolysis method that uses natural gas as a feedstock, will host a webinar on Thursday, February 4 at 8 a.m. CST/9 a.m. EST. The webinar, “Revolution: How Monolith is Changing Carbon Black Manufacturing Forever,” is open to anyone interested in learning about the company’s production process and business model. Monolith’s production facility in Nebraska, just outside of Lincoln in Hallam, represents the first carbon black manufacturing plant built in the U.S. in 50 years.

To register go to webinars.on24.com/monolith/revolution.

January 12, 2021

Bridgestone reaches deal to divest Firestone Building Products

Filed under: General, Rubber — Notch @ 1:09 am

Bridgestone Americas Inc. has reached an agreement to divest its Firestone Building Products unit, which produces commercial roofing and building envelope solutions. France-based LafargeHolcim Ltd. will acquire the business for $3.4 billion. LafargeHolcim is a leading global supplier of building materials, including cement and ready-mix concrete as well as roofing, with a focus on sustainable building solutions.

Jan Jenisch, LafargeHolcim CEO, said in a statement, “With Firestone Building Products we are strengthening our biggest market, the US, while also building a global growth and innovation platform for the company.”

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.

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