London - Following plant closures by carbon black makers in the past few years, recent announcements suggest a reversal in the trend.
Birla Carbon, for instance, is opening a greenfield 120 kilotonnes per annum (ktpa) carbon black production facility in Jining, Shandong province.
The company, which closed down a manufacturing plant in Germany and a production line in Alexandira, Egypt as recently as May 2016, said the Jining facility is set to expand to 240ktpa in phase 2, to “cater to the increasing requirements of top 4-5 growing tire manufacturers and multinational tire manufacturers” in the region.
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.
Mumbai, India-based off-road tire maker Balkrishna Industries Ltd (BKT) also announced plans to establish a carbon black plant at its tire-making facility in Bhuj late July.
The company said the 60ktpa facility will stretch over approximately 8 hectares within the BKT production site at Bhuj, in the Indian state of Gujarat. A $23-million-dollar investment has been earmarked for the project.
Russia’s Omsk Carbon is set to start production at its long-delayed Mogilev plant, in Belarus. The company told ERJ that the 160ktpa plant will be launched by second quarter of 2018, nearly 18 months behind schedule.
According to the company’s chairman Valeriy Kaplunat, the delay was in order to secure better technology for the firm’s third production site.
Improving the production process and increasing efficiency of the plant’s power-generation cycle were main points of focus, the Omsk chairman explained.
In the recovered carbon black (rCB) sector, Pyrolyx AG of Germany announced 22 Aug that it will build a production plant in the US city of Terre Haute, Indiana.
The plant will be capable of producing about 12.9 tonnes/year of rCB from waste tires as well as pyrolysis oil and steel.
Swedish rCB producer Scandinavian Enviro System also announced growth with plans to build a production unit for Chinese tire maker Guangzhou Vanlead Group Co. Ltd, and Chilean investor Genera 4 SA.
According to Enviro, the company hopes to establish a plant in Guangzhou with project launch in 2017. In Chile, though, no date has been given for a launch of the site.