Yeosu, South Korea – Orion Engineered Carbons will convert a tire-grade carbon black production line at its plant in Yeosu, to speciality and technical rubber products, the company announced 6 Oct.
The conversion of the line, according to Orion, will impact the production of roughly 20 kilotonnes of carbon black.
“This line conversion in Yeosu is among the next steps in Orion Engineered Carbons’ ongoing transition to higher value added products for speciality and technically demanding rubber applications,” said Jack Clem, Orion’s chief executive officer.
This project is in addition to a previously announced plan to expand the specialty and technical grade mix at Orion’s Qingdao, China plant.
This, said Clem, will “continue our penetration of the rapidly growing north and southeast Asian markets, as well as providing support for demand from the rest of the world.”
The conversion process will begin during the fourth quarter of this year and is expected to be completed by July 2017.
The Yeosu site has five production units with a total production capacity of 188 kilotonne per annum.
Orion announced in April that it was shifting production to more speciality carbon black products for plastics and printing applications, and to more technically unique rubber black grades, including those sold to the mechanical rubber goods industry.
This strategy is in evidence at Orion’ facility in Qingdao, China – in January the company acquired all remaining shares in the Qingdao Evonik Chemical operation for around €28 million.
“We have begun to move into some of the speciality, and some of the non-rubber applications with that plant since we’ve acquired it,” said Clem during a Q1 report in April. “The large majority of the material that is produced there is not commodity ASTM grade but more tapping into the high-end mechanical rubber goods.”