US-based Cabot Corp. is planning the addition of significant capacity to its global network of carbon black plants. This will be achieved through the combination of a plant expansion, operational improvements, and debottlenecking projects, which together will ultimately will increase the company ’s global carbon black capacity by more than 300,000 metric tons per year.
The largest project involves a 160,000-ton capacity expansion at the company's manufacturing facility in Cilegon, Indonesia, according to a 21 May news release. The new capacity, which is expected to reach the market by late 2020 or early 2021, will help meet annual growth in carbon black demand in Southeast Asia.
In addition to the expansion at Cilegon, Cabot is investing approximately $50 million in debottlenecking projects and operational improvements across 18 of its carbon black facilities. This program will provide an additional 150,000 metric tons of increased carbon black capacity which will be available for tire, industrial rubber and specialty carbon customers. To date, Cabot has completed approximately one-third of this capacity expansion, with full completion expected by 2021.
The combined expansions will increase Cabot's global carbon black capacity to approximately 2.5 million tons per year, the company said.
"Part of our corporate strategy is to invest for growth in our core businesses. These actions clearly showcase our commitment to be the partner of choice for our customers, not only for today, but into the future," Sean Keohane, Cabot president and CEO said in a statement. "Adding this new capital efficient capacity will provide a lever for growth for our Reinforcement Materials and Performance Chemicals segments and contribute to the execution of our corporate financial and strategic objectives."