News from Notch Consulting, Inc.

August 27, 2014

Cancarb adds thermal black distributor in Turkey

Filed under: Uncategorized — Notch @ 4:24 pm

Cancarb Limited announced today that it has appointed Özzsahin Sun’Í Kösele Sanayi Ve Ticaret A.S. as its Turkish distributor of Thermax® medium thermal carbon blacks effective September 1, 2014. Previously Cancarb’s Turkish distributor for more than 25 years was Teknik Servis, owned and operated by semi-retiring co-founders Tugrul Sirel and Metin Tüfekcioglu. “Ozsahin brings to the table over 70 years of experience in the rubber industry,” said Dave Petrie, President of Cancarb. “This wealth of knowledge coupled with the support of key personnel from Cancarb’s previous distributor Teknik Servis Ltd. will assure a smooth transition and allow us to continue to provide the premium customer experience to which our customers are accustomed.”

Here is the press release.

In April 2014, Japanese carbon black company Tokai Carbon completed an acquisition of Cancarb Limited.

August 26, 2014

WSJ: Majority of teens say they don’t know how to change a tire

Filed under: Run-flats, Tires — Notch @ 11:48 am

The Wall Street Journal (subscription required) reports survey results indicating that the majority of teens do not know how to change a tire, let alone basic tire maintenance.

A new survey, released Tuesday, finds 52% of U.S. teens ranging from 15 to 17 years old don’t know how to replace a tire. A total of 44% don’t know how to examine the tire tread depth and 32% can’t figure out how to check tire pressure.

Notch Consulting published a report earlier this year that focused on the ongoing trend to eliminate the spare tire from many new cars, as well as the systems that will replace them. Information on this report, Prospects for Extended Mobility Systems: Run-Flat Tires, Tire Repair Kits & Self-Sealing Tires in OEM Passenger Car Markets, is available here.

August 25, 2014

Orion IPO used to repay shareholder loans, reduce corporate debt

Filed under: Uncategorized — Notch @ 5:45 am

Having successfully concluded its initial public offering, Orion Engineered Carbons S.A. is using the cash to repaying a shareholder loan and refinance its debt. In the offering, which began July 25 and closed July 30, Orion floated 19.5 million common shares at $18 per share. Shares trade on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol OEC. Following the offering, Orion is owned by Kinove Luxembourg Holdings 1 S.a.r.l. (57.3%), public shareholders (about 32.7%), and management (about 10%). Rhone Capital L.L.C. and Triton Advisors Ltd. are Orion’s largest investors, together holding more than 50% of the firm, according to Charles Herlinger, Orion’s CFO. According to an article in Rubber & Plastics News, about €200 million ($267.6 million) of the proceeds will repay a shareholder loan in full. The IPO also will allow Orion to refinance its debt down from more than 10% to about 4-5%. 

US ITC may impose import duties on Chinese tires

Filed under: Uncategorized — Notch @ 1:10 am

Rubber & Plastics News reports that the US International Trade Commission has moved into the final phase of its investigation into potential dumping of Chinese passenger car and light truck tires into the United States. On August 21, the ITC announced a finding that the US tire industry has been “materially injured or threatened with material injury” due to the imports. Based on the finding, the ITC may impose countervailing and/or anti-dumping duties on Chinese tires and/or against individual Chinese tire makers. The US Department of Commerce began its investigation on July 21, 2014 in response to petitions submitted to the ITC on June 3 by the United Steelworkers union. The Obama administration previously imposed import tariffs against Chinese tire tires in September 2009, but the higher duties were allowed to expire in September 2012. 

 

August 7, 2014

Omsk Carbon Group breaks ground on new plant in Belarus

Filed under: Carbon Black — Notch @ 4:36 pm

On July 29, Omsk Carbon Group held a groundbreaking ceremony for its new carbon black plant being built in the Mogilev Free Economic Zone, Belarus. The project was first announced in February 2013, and Omsk spent the ensuing 18 months doing design work and obtaining the necessary governmental approvals. The new plant will employ 450 workers and will have 120,000 tonnes/year of capacity at start-up in 2017, expandable to 200,000 t/y at a later date. The cost is Euro 85 million (RUB 4 bn). The factory will supply customers in Europe and Belarus. Omsk Carbon Group is the largest producer of carbon black in Russia and Eastern Europe, with plants in Omsk and Volgograd.

The full press release is here.

August 1, 2014

Gas explosion rocks Kaohsiung, Taiwan

Filed under: General — Notch @ 12:45 am

A series of powerful gas explosions hit the southern Taiwan city of Kaohsiung late Thursday, killing at least 24 people and injuring up to 271. The blasts were concentrated in the Cianjhen district, and were believed to be triggered by gas (possibly propylene) leaking from underground pipelines.

Here are two early reports on the tragedy: BBC and AFP.

Update: Here is an astounding compilation of videos of the event and aftermath. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the people of Taiwan.

July 22, 2014

Evonik Industries building precipitated silica plant in Brazil

Filed under: Silica — Notch @ 6:30 am

Evonik Industries (Essen, Germany) plans to build a plant to produce highly dispersible precipitated silica in São Paulo, Brazil by 2016. The new factory is budgeted in the mid-double-digit million euro range. Highly dispersible silica (HDS) is used mainly for high-quality low rolling resistance tires. The plant also will service South America’s food, animal feed, and agricultural industries.

Dr. Johannes Ohmer, head of Evonik’s Inorganic Materials Business Unit, said: “The new plant in Americana will enable us to offer our Brazilian and regional customers high-quality silicas from local production in combination with our outstanding services.”

According to Evonik, the market for low rolling resistance tires and, consequently, for HD silicas, has been growing much stronger than the market for conventional tires in South America. Evonik expects additional demand due to a planned tire labeling program for fuel efficiency for passenger car tires in Brazil. Evonik is the only company in the world that offers both HDS and silane coupling agents, which are used to improve the dispersion and processing of silica in the compound.

Evonik is expanding its silica capacities throughout the world: By the end of 2014 alone, they will have grown by around 30 percent compared to 2010. In Chester, Pennsylvania, a plant for precipitated silica with an annual capacity of about 20,000 metric tons is scheduled to begin operations in 2014. The expansion in North and South America follows expansions that have already been completed in Europe and Asia.

In addition to precipitated silica, Evonik Industries produces Aerosil fumed silica and Acematt silica-based matting agents. Evonik has a worldwide capacity of about 550,000 metric tons per year for precipitated silica, fumed silica, and matting agents together.

July 10, 2014

Equity firm acquires Emerald Performance Materials

Filed under: Rubber Chemicals — Notch @ 5:07 pm

Rubber News reports that New-York-based private equity firm American Securities L.L.C. plans to acquire specialty chemicals maker Emerald Performance Materials L.L.C. from Sun Capital, Inc. The deal is being executed with the cooperation of members of Emerald’s management team. Emerald, which is based in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, was formed in 2006 as an affiliate of Sun Capital Partners, following the divesture of certain businesses from Lubrizol. The company produces chemicals for a range of niche consumer and industrial markets—including tires, structural adhesives, coatings, composites, flooring, flavors and fragrances, and food and beverages. The transaction is expected to close in the third quarter and is subject to customary closing conditions and regulatory approvals. Financial details and the names of the members of the management team involved in the purchase were not disclosed.

July 2, 2014

Evonik building silanes research center in Germany

Filed under: Rubber, Silica, Tires — Notch @ 6:00 am

Evonik Industries (Essen, Germany) is building a new research center for silanes at its factory in Rheinfelden, Germany. Ground-breaking was held on June 30, 2014 and the facility is scheduled to be complete in early 2016. The investment was valued in the “double-digit-million euro range.” Silanes are used in electronics, tires, adhesives and sealants, and plastics. Application engineering, analytics, and quality management will also be located in the new research center in the future. The center is a logical fit for the Rheinfelden site, which supports an integrated silane chemical production network encompassing research, development, application technology, and production.

The new research center will house up 70 employees in an area of around 3,500 square meters. In a press release on the project, Peter Dettelmann, head of the Rheinfelden site, explained its focus of activity as follows: “The silanes we are researching into here make chips in smartphones faster and more efficient, protect buildings from corrosion and dirt, and enable fuel-saving tires or longer-lasting paints.”

Evonik produces silanes at its sites in Rheinfelden, Germany; Antwerp, Belgium; Rizhao, China; Mobile, Alabama; and Weston, Michigan. The specialty chemical company also operates laboratories for application technology support and regionally specialized research for silanes in China, India, Germany, and the United States. Evonik’s silane portfolio comprises chlorosilanes and organo- functional silanes with an overall annual capacity of 300,000 metric tons.

Here is the press release.

June 23, 2014

PCBL announces new carbon black plant in Egypt

Filed under: Carbon Black — Notch @ 2:43 pm

Phillips Carbon Black Ltd. released plans for a new carbon black plant to be built in Borg El Arab, Alexandria, Egypt. The plant would cost US$170 million with capacity of 140,000 tonnes/year and startup in early 2016. This project was first mentioned in PCBL’s Investor Outlook from May 2013, but no details were provided at that time.

India’s biggest producer of raw carbon black, RP-Sanjiv Goenka Group plans to build a USD 170 million carbon black plant in Alexandria, according to a board member at the Egyptian Indian Polyester Company (EIPC). “The project will be located at Borg El Arab, Alexandria and spread over an area of 200,000 square meters,” Amre Fayed, a member of Board of Directors told Zawya.

“The group will invest USD 170 million in the first stage to produce 140,000 tons of carbon black, which is used in the manufacture of tyres,” he said.

The company, which is the world’s sixth biggest producer of carbon black, has ‘completed all technical and financial studies’ related to the project and submitted required papers to various Egyptian authorities for approval to start work on the plant.

Fayed said the plant is expected to start production by the beginning of 2016; around 20 percent of production will cater to domestic demand and 80 percent to exports.
When completed, the project will provide about 1,400 direct and indirect job opportunities.

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