PITTSBURGH—Orion Engineered Carbons GmbH. is converting a tire-grade carbon black production line at its plant in Yeosu, South Korea, to specialty and technical rubber products, the company announced at the International Elastomer Conference in Pittsburgh Oct. 11.
The conversion, which involves approximately 20,000 tons of carbon black capacity, will take place over the next several months, according to Dirk Rechenbach, Orion vice president marketing, business line rubber. In a press release, the company gave a completion date of July 2017.
Orion has converted production lines in the past to serve expanding specialty markets, Rechenbach said. The company will consider converting other carbon black production lines in the future, but has no current plans to do so, according to Rechenbach. “This (the Yeosu conversion) is specifically for 2017,” he said.
The firm previously announced a plan to expand its specialty and technical carbon black production in Qingdao, China. The Qingdao and Yeosu conversions are part of Orion's ongoing transition to higher-value-added products, the company said.