KITCHENER, Ontario—Green Arc Tire Manufacturing Inc., a passenger tire retreading start-up still in the process of setting up a plant in St. Marys, Ontario, has struck a deal with rubber compounding specialist AirBoss of America Corp. for the supply of up to 24 million pounds of rubber annually.
“This is a local partnership with tremendous benefits,” said John Tomins, vice president of sales and marketing at AirBoss at a ceremony March 24 at AirBoss' plant in Kitchener. “Our companies are combining innovative technologies to create local jobs, improve the environment and help the economy.”
Green Arc Tire is a five-month old company started by Mike DiCenzo, a Canadian with more than 30 years of experience in the used tire, casings and recycling industries. It has financial backing from Phoenix Capital Partners, a Toronto venture capital firm, and Bancorp Financial Services Inc., a Vancouver mortgage fund management firm.
DiCenzo, CEO and chief operating officer of Green Arc Tire, put the investment last November to start Green Arc Tire at more than $33 million, with production of 3 million passenger, light truck and sport-utility vehicle tires—predominantly winter specification—a year projected at the new plant. The operation is being assembled inside a 400,000-sq.-ft. vacant building that used to house a Dana Corp. truck chassis plant.
He originally had hoped to be in production by March, but now says production should start around May 1, owing to a longer-than-anticipated permitting process.
“The time is proper to do this,” he said in an interview, noting Quebec's mandatory winter tire law and growing sentiment in other provinces toward similar measures.
AirBoss, one of North America's largest rubber compounders, expects the volume agreed to in this deal will create sufficient work to support 20 new jobs, according to Steve Barefoot, Kitchener plant manager for AirBoss. Retreading currently accounts for about 17 percent of AirBoss' rubber compounding business, according to information on its website.
“We're delighted to be working with a company that shares our commitment to the community and the environment,” DiCenzo said at the March 24 event. “Together we're producing new tires in a process that gives used tires a second life. It's a process that's far more practical, efficient and green than tire recycling will ever be.”
Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.