FORT WORTH, Texas—Sid Richardson Carbon Co. is planning to add another carbon black plant to its operation and for the first time it's stepping outside the U.S., but not far.
It is currently looking at Mexico as the site of the new facility, but the exact location has yet to be determined, according to Greg King, vice president of marketing. The owners of the company have signed off on the new plant, but it's currently only in the planning stages.
This will be the firm's fourth carbon black facility. Its other plants are located in the U.S., two in Texas and the third in Louisiana.
An outside consultant has been retained to review the various and best location possibilities in Mexico, taking into consideration a number of key factors, King said. “We then need to bring in a construction firm and an engineering firm to design it.
“It's certain it will be in Mexico ... but in which area, we don't know.”
He said the company's newest plant will be an expansion for additional capacity. “We're not building this to close another facility; we're adding another plant to our operation.”
Current projections are for Sid Richardson to acquire a block of land in Mexico ultimately to house multiple units if the need arises, King said. It will start with one plant, and if more capacity is needed, it can add another building and possibly even a third if that's what the market dictates.
“Based on the current demand for carbon black in North America and projections for the next five years alone, we are viewing this venture as a necessary move to serve our customers,” said Bill Jones, president and CEO of the Fort Worth-based firm.
He said the company hopes to have the plant on line and producing carbon black in 2017.
King said if everything breaks right, the company will be able to start construction on the carbon black plant in the fourth quarter.
In terms of capacity, it will be determined by market conditions, he said, adding that the facility could produce anywhere from 50 kilotons to 150 kilotons of carbon black annually.
According to Notch Consulting, Sid Richardson is the largest carbon black producer in the U.S., with plants that have the capacity to produce 445,000 metric tons annually.
Carbon black produced by the company is used in the production of tires, automotive parts, rubber roofing membrane, ink, coatings and other manufactured products.