BKT to raise carbon black production to 200ktpa
Indian off-road tire maker also investing in R&D for speciality carbon black
Bhuj, India – Balkrishna Industries Ltd (BKT) is stepping up its carbon black production activities with plans to increase capacity by nearly 20% this year.
The company will expand its plant in Bhuj, in the eastern Indian state of Gujarat, to produce 198 kilotonnes per annum (ktpa) of rubber black grades by the end of 2023, BKT said 20 Feb.
The Bhuj facility came into operation in 2017, with a capacity to produce 65ktpa of hard grade carbon blacks for tire tread applications.
In 2018, BKT raised capacity there to 110ktpa and added production of soft grade carbon blacks, used to improve its strength and durability of casing compounds.
Last year, total production of the two types of carbon black reached 138ktpa and expansion continued at the site to bring total capacity to 165.5ktpa.
The latest investment falls within BKT’s long-term 'self-sufficiency' programme, under which production capacity at Bhuj will reach 280ktpa at full ramp-up.
In addition, BKT said its R&D department intended to add a speciality carbon black facility, focused on specific applications such as paints, plastics and inks.
On the sustainability front, BKT said it has introduced a new approach to carbon black production to make the process more environmentally friendly.
And on the materials-handling front, BKT said it has switched from using bulk-bag containers to the use of mobile silos.
“This means that the tire production plant receives the carbon black with the aid of mobile silos transported pneumatically to the storage,” the company noted.
The move, it added, will save 100,000 bulk bags for packaging over the next few years with the system, which is also designed to reduce energy-consumption and improve quality.
As a future target, BKT aims to reduce energy-consumption within its carbon black value-chain by up to 70%.