News from Notch Consulting, Inc.

April 16, 2020

Scandinavian Enviro Systems announces strategic partnership with Michelin for rCB

Filed under: Carbon Black, General, Recovered Carbon Black, Tires — Notch @ 9:38 pm

Scandinavian Enviro Systems (Gothenburg, Sweden) has announced a new long-term strategic partnership with Michelin under which Michelin will acquire a 20% stake in Enviro, valued at SEK 32.5 million (US$3.2 million). The agreement also includes a project to build a tire recycling facility based on Enviro’s pyrolysis technology, as well as a joint supply agreement for recovered carbon black between the two companies. The location of the plant will be confirmed at a later date. The stock placement is expected to be completed by April 29, 2020, while the final agreement on the strategic partnership is expected to be signed by mid-2020. The current letter of intent contains no provisions that prevent Enviro from collaborating with other tire manufacturers or tire suppliers after July 31, 2020, according to Enviro’s press release.

April 15, 2020

Cooper restarts Mexico tire plant

Filed under: Coronavirus/COVID-19, General, Rubber, Tires — Notch @ 9:43 pm

Tire Business (subscription required) reports that Cooper Tire & Rubber planned to restart its plant in El Salto, Mexico on April 13. Cooper’s tire plants in the US will remain closed through at least April 24. The plants in both Mexico and the US were idled on March 21. Cooper’s plants in Europe also are idle, but plants in China have reopened. Cooper said it is taking necessary steps to ensure worker safety at the El Salto factory, including social distancing, additional cleaning and disinfecting of equipment and facilities, and restricting visitor access.

Bridgestone Russia, Spain tire plants to reopen

Filed under: Coronavirus/COVID-19, General, Tires — Notch @ 10:51 am

Bridgestone facilities in Burgos, Bilbao and Puente San Miguel, Spain and Ulyanovsk, Russia have resumed full production after being idled on March 23 by the COVID-19 pandemic, according to Rubber News (subscription required.)

Bridgestone factories in Bari, Italy and Lanklaar Belgium are scheduled to restart later this month.  Plants in Poznan and Stargard, Poland and Tatabanya, Hungary are running at reduced capacity.  Factories in India, South Africa and France will remain closed for now.

After suspending operations on March 21, Bridgestone Americas Inc. and North American Firestone Industrial Products and Firestone Building Products factories restarted operation on April 13.

NY Sumitomo tire plant to idle

Filed under: Coronavirus/COVID-19, General, Rubber, Tires — Notch @ 10:50 am

On April 20, Sumitomo Rubber North America Inc. will idle production at its tire plant in Tonawanda, New York in response to the COVID-19 outbreak, according to Rubber News (subscription required). SRNA plans to resume work on May 4, but will evaluate if a third week of closure is necessary.

Bridgestone North American plants set to reopen

Filed under: Coronavirus/COVID-19, General, Rubber, Tires — Notch @ 10:49 am

On April 13, Bridgestone Americas Inc. plans to reopen North American commercial tire plants, North American Firestone Industrial Products, and Firestone Building Products facilities, after suspending production due to the COVID-19 outbreak, according to Rubber News (subscription required.)

Bridgestone will resume operations in alignment with the latest safety CDC protocol guidance.  The company is closely monitoring volatility in demand, and is working with customers to ensure adequate supply.

North American retread rubber manufacturing plants resumed operations the week of March 29.


Kumho tire plant in Georgia to remain closed

Filed under: Coronavirus/COVID-19, General, Rubber, Tires — Notch @ 10:48 am

Kumho Tire USA Inc. has extended the closure of its plant in Macon, Georgia due to the COVID-19 pandemic.  The company will continue to review conditions in order to determine if production should remain idled through the end of April, according to Rubber News (subscription required.)

The plant has been closed since April 1, and South Korea and Vietnam plants have been supporting US market needs.

March 30, 2020

Prinx Chengshan Tire inaugurates Thai tire plant

Filed under: Carbon Black, General, Rubber, Rubber Chemicals, Tires — Notch @ 9:03 pm

Amid all the plant closures, some good news. Tire Business reports that Prinx Chengshan Tire has inaugurated production of truck tires at its new $300M plant in Chonburi, Thailand. The plant was completed one year after breaking ground and a few months ahead of schedule. Workers at the plant began production on March 25. Capacity is 800,000 unit/year at full capacity. The company also plans to add 4M units/year of capacity for PC/LT tires.

More tire plants suspend operations amid COVID-19 outbreak

Filed under: Coronavirus/COVID-19, General, Tires — Notch @ 8:53 pm

Toyo Tire Holdings of Americas Inc. is temporarily suspending operations at its Georgia plant and expects to resume production on April 19.  Distribution centers will remain open and warehouses continue to receive products from plants overseas.

Michelin will be closing their passenger tire plant in Dundee permanently, effective immediately.  Initially, Michelin planned to suspend production until April 13.  In November 2018, Michelin announced it would close the Dundee plant by the end of 2020.

Kumho Tire USA will suspend production at its plant in Macon, Ga., from April 1-8. During the shutdown, plants in South Korea and Vietnam will support demand in the U.S. market.  

Yokohama Tire Corp. is idling production for two weeks at its truck tire plant in West Point, Miss. as of March 28.  The shipping department will continue service.

Bridgestone Corp. is suspending production at plants in France and Italy, and scaling back at in Belgium, Hungary, Poland and Spain.  Plants in Bethune, France, and Bari, Italy, will be closed until April 6.  Operations are reduced in Bilbao, Puente San Miguel and Burgos, Spain; Stargard and Poznan, Poland; and Tatabanya, Hungary, as well as a retread materials factory in Lanklaar, Belgium.  The company has sufficient supply in order to continue to fill orders from its distribution centers and warehouses.

Nexen and Kenda maintain production amid COVID-19 outbreak

Filed under: Coronavirus/COVID-19, General, Rubber, Tires — Notch @ 8:52 pm

Nexen Tire Corp. remains in operation worldwide, despite decreasing demand.  Its California corporate office is working remotely.

Kenda Rubber Industrial Co. Ltd. remains in operation in tire plants across the globe.  Employees are working remotely where possible.

March 26, 2020

Hankook will halt production at plants in Tennessee and Hungary

Filed under: Coronavirus/COVID-19, General, Tires — Notch @ 3:31 pm

In response to the coronavirus outbreak, Hankook Tire and Technology Co., ltd. will idle production at plants in Clarksville, Tenn. and Raclamas, Hungary on March 30.  Warehouses will continue operation supported by plants in Asia.

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