News from Notch Consulting, Inc.

February 3, 2021

Balkrishna Industries launches website for its carbon black business

Filed under: Carbon Black, Tires — Notch @ 6:15 am

Balkrishna Industries, a leading Indian producer of specialty and off-road tires, recently expanded into carbon black production through its BKT Carbon subsidiary. BKT Carbon operates a carbon black plant at the company’s main tire production site in Bhuj, India with a capacity of 140,000 tons per year. BKT Carbon is responsible for this production as well as global carbon black sales, and now has its own dedicated website: www.bkt-carbon.com.

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 19, 2021

Ferentino Tyre opens tire plant in Sri Lanka

Filed under: Tires — Notch @ 9:22 pm

From Rubber & Plastics News comes word that Ferentino Tyre Corp. Pvt. Ltd., an enterprise backed by United Arab Emirates-based investment company Onyx Group, has commissioned production at a $250 million tire factory at a site southwest of Colombo, Sri Lanka. The project was previously known as Rigid Tyre Corp., which announced in January 2017 that it would build a tire plant in an industrial park in Horana with equipment provided by Italy’s Marangoni Group. Ferentino Tyre commissioned the new plant in a ceremony on January 14. The plant has capacity for passenger, SUV, truck and two- and three-wheeler tires, and annual capacity is projected to reach 2.4 million units. Investment of the first phase is $100 million. Phase 2 is scheduled to be completed by March 2022.

US Tire Manufacturers Association issues statement on California’s proposed actions on zinc and 6PPD in tires

Filed under: Regulatory, Rubber Chemicals, Tires — Notch @ 9:14 pm

On January 12, the U.S. Tire Manufacturers Association issued a statement in response to the California Department of Toxic Substances Control’s (DTSC) announcement that a petition to review zinc in automobile tires under the state’s Safer Consumer Products Regulations has been granted. The USTMA’s statement follows in its entirety:

The decision to grant a petition to add vehicle tires containing zinc oxide to the California Safer Consumer Products Regulations Priority Products list will not achieve its intended purpose.  However, we support DTSC’s decision to include discussions about 6PPD in future workshops and we support designating 6PPD in automobile tires as a Priority Product for review under the state’s green chemistry program.

Zinc
Zinc is found naturally in the environment and is contained in many products including galvanized metal, fertilizer, paint, batteries, brake pads and tires.  Research demonstrates that discharges of domestic wastewater and galvanized metal surfaces account for 75% of zinc in the environment, while tires typically account for less than 10%.

Because zinc is widely used in many products, zinc water quality issues can only effectively be mitigated through a collaborative, holistic approach. Since 2016, USTMA has worked with the California State Water Resources Control Board, the International Zinc Association, and the California Stormwater Quality Association as part of a collaborative process to identify effective solutions to zinc water quality issues in the state.  USTMA continues to believe that this effort is the most promising avenue to resolve California’s zinc water quality issues, and we urged DTSC to support this collaboration before moving to a narrow focus on zinc in tires under the Safer Consumer Products regulation.

Zinc oxide plays a critical and irreplaceable role in manufacturing tires. Zinc oxide serves as an “activator” in the vulcanization process that turns soft, sticky rubber into stable components that allow a tire to carry the weight of a vehicle and to stop safely. Manufacturers have tested a variety of other metal oxides to replace or reduce the use of zinc but have not found a safer alternative. Without the use of zinc oxide, tires cannot meet federal safety standards.  ​

6PPD
Tire manufacturers recommended adding 6PPD to the Priority Products Work Plan following a recent study that suggests a link between Coho salmon mortality and a transformation product of 6PPD from tire and road wear particles (TRWP) called 6PPD-quinone. The tire industry uses 6PPD to help tires resist degradation and cracking, which is vital for passenger safety. 6PPD has been studied, but not enough is known about the newly discovered transformation product, 6PPD-quinone. We are committed to collaborating with researchers and regulators in California and Washington to better understand this material, fill knowledge gaps and determine next steps.

Tire manufacturers’ commitment to sustainability
Tire manufacturers are dedicated to understanding and reducing the environmental impact of their products. USTMA members — both individually and through partnerships — are working to incorporate more renewable and recycled materials into tires, enhancing biodiversity and reducing dependence on non-renewable feedstocks. Cooper, Goodyear, Pirelli, and Continental are working with academic institutions and other partners to explore the use of dandelions as an alternative to rubber. Bridgestone, Goodyear, Yokohama and Hankook are replacing petroleum in tires with vegetable, soybean or orange peel oil.

We intend to continue advancing this commitment to sustainability through collaboration with the California State Water Resources Control Board and California Stormwater Quality Association to help find effective solutions to the state’s zinc-related water quality issues.

January 13, 2021

European Carbon Black Summit scheduled for Frankfurt in June

Filed under: Uncategorized — Notch @ 12:39 am

The European Carbon Black Summit will be held on June 23/24, 2021 at the Crown Plaza Frankfurt Congress Hotel in Frankfurt, Germany. This two-day event will cover issues affecting the European carbon black industry, including feedstock issues, sustainability, and market conditions. Details are here.

January 12, 2021

India’s Finance Ministry removes import duty on carbon black from China and Russia

Filed under: Uncategorized — Notch @ 11:21 pm

From the Hindu Business Line comes word that India’s Finance Ministry has decided not to impose anti-dumping duty on imports of carbon black (used in rubber applications) from China and Russia. The previous duties, which were in place for five years, expired on December 31, 2020. In making the decision, the Revenue Department turned down the recommendation of the Directorate General of Trade Remedies, which recommended the continuation of the anti-dumping duties for another five years. For carbon black imports from China, the recommended anti-dumping duty was $494 per ton, while the recommended duty for imports from Russia was $36.17 per ton. The decision affects only rubber blacks; specialty blacks used in plastics, inks, and printer cartridges are excluded.

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.

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

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