Mumbai, India – Indian coal tar derivatives producer Epsilon Carbon Private Ltd (ECPL) has commissioned an integrated carbon black manufacturing complex located in Bellary, Karnataka, southern India.
The Rs 5.5 billion (€62 million) plant has a production capacity of 115 kilotonnes per annum (ktpa) and is already running close to full capacity, said Epsilon in a 7 July statement.
Started up back in January, the facility produces both tread and carcass grades of carbon blacks for tires, as well as grades for non-tire rubber and plastics applications.
The backwardly integrated plant uses the anthracene oil generated at ECPL’s 220ktpa coal tar distillation facility as a clean feedstock.
ECPL expects the security of raw materials and consistency in feedstock quality will help it produce “consistent quality carbon black” for tire and rubber goods applications.
The company has earmarked a further Rs 3.5 billion to expand its coal tar distillation capacity by 65ktpa and carbon black production by 185 ktpa in the coming years.
Described as ‘first-of-its-kind’ in India, the integrated carbon facility uses waste coke oven gas from the steel plant as a fuel. In return, the tail-gas from the carbon black unit is fed back to the steel complex for pre-heating operations.
Compared to other plants, which typically use high sulphur feedstock of around 3%, the unit is claimed to use captive low-sulphur feedstock of 0.3-0.5%.
The environmental features, ECPL said, set “a new benchmark in low SOx/NOx and CO2 emissions,” and make the plant “highly ecological and best in class.”
“Globally the markets are growing steadily, and we see lots of opportunities in both tire, mechanical rubber goods and industrial plastic in next few years,” said Vikram Handa, managing director of Epsilon Carbon.
Epsilon Carbon, he said is “well positioned” to cater to the growing demand with niche quality products, and is registered under REACH to supply to European partners.