FORT WORTH, Texas — Sid Richardson Carbon and Energy Co. plans to add 20 million pounds of production capacity for carbon black used in tread rubber at its Borger, Texas, facility in 2008 and 2009.
The addition will allow the firm to enter markets and expand its product base, according to a company spokesman.
The expansion includes state-of-the-art equipment and technology upgrades, which will enable the facility to more efficiently produce better quality carbon black, he said. The project will begin in the fourth quarter and be completed in early 2009, with 10 million pounds coming on line in late 2008.
Once the expansion is completed, the facility´s production capacity will approach 390 million pounds a year and its electricity-generating capacity for internal use and external sales will be more than 25 megawatts.
New machinery purchases probably will be made from companies in Germany, China "and wherever we feel we can get the best technology," the spokesman said.
Sid Richardson, which produces more than 20 different grades of carbon black for use in rubber compounds, is in the seventh year of an expansion program aimed at upgrading the Borger facility and plants in Big Spring, Texas, and Addis, La.
In addition, the company produces electricity at its Big Spring and Borger plants and has plans to do the same at its site in Louisiana.
The firm also has a carbon black research and development center in Fort Worth, where the company is headquartered.
"We´ve spent well over $100 million on projects," the spokesman said. "We´ve been averaging $10 million to $15 million to upgrade our facilities over the seven years."
Included in the upgrades was a new 24-megawatt power plant at its carbon black facility in Big Spring.
He said the Borger expansion is a separate project. "We have a window of opportunity now because of an environmental permit for emissions that´s only good for so many years," he said. "So by spending money on new technology, we´ll gain capacity."
Sid Richardson virtually cut the size of its company in half in early 2006 when it sold off its holdings in the natural gas gathering and processing industry. Since then, the firm has been building its carbon black business.
The company´s carbon black plants convert low-grade diesel oil into filler material used to harden rubber tires. Its annual production capacity is about 970 million pounds of rubber grade furnace black and 50 megawatts of electricity.