Jining, China – Birla Carbon has officially inaugurated a greenfield 120 kilotonnes per annum (ktpa) carbon black production facility in Jining, Shandong province, the company announced 8 Sept.
The plant, which is to expand to 240ktpa in phase 2, will “cater to the increasing requirements of top 4-5 growing tire manufacturers and multinational tire manufacturers” in the region, the company said.
China is one of the largest and fastest-growing markets for carbon black with a forecast to grow at a CAGR of 7.0% by 2021, according to Birla Carbon.
The new production plant, it said, will “exclusively cater to the Chinese customer base” and meet growing demands for higher quality, technical solutions and performance.
The Jining unit will produce traditional ASTM grades and specific Birla Carbon grades. The ASTM grades will focus on the tire industry, while many of the Birla Carbon grades will be for mechanical rubber goods applications.
“While the Aditya Birla Group has always had a presence in China – we have not leveraged the potential that both we as a group and China as a market place had to offer,” said Kumar Mangalam Birla, chairman, Aditya Birla Group,
“The Jining plant is well ahead of its time, whether it be the manufacturing processes involved or the environmental standards, it follows,” the chairman added.
Birla Carbon said Jining will be an ‘energy positive’ plant: a cogeneration facility will generate steam and electricity for the facility, with surplus electricity exported to the state grid.
Environmental performance will be further enhanced by ‘De-Sox’ and ‘De-NOx’ boilers with emission control capabilities aligned to Chinese environment norms to be adopted by 2021.
The Jining plant has been designed based on Birla Carbon’s 'sustainable operational excellence' approach, the company’s statement continued.
This, it said, will “ensure direct CO2 emissions per tonne of carbon black produced is much lower than the industry benchmark. The plant will operate at maximum efficiency at all times.”
Birla Carbon also emphasised that, from entering the plant to reaching customers, all materials would be handled in a “safe and environmentally responsible” manner.
Part of the $41-billion Aditya Birla Group, Birla Carbon is one of the world's largest carbon black suppliers, operating 16 manufacturing facilities in 12 countries.