BOSTON—Cabot Corp. is planning a series of projects that it says will increase its 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 May 21 news release. The new capacity, which is expected to reach the market by early 2021, will help meet annual growth in carbon black demand in Southeast Asia.
The Indonesian investment is needed to help support Southeast Asia's growing tire and industrial rubber market, which is seeing an increasing demand for raw materials at new facilities in the region, according to Jeff Zhu,Cabot's president for the Asia-Pacific region. Acknowledging support of the Indonesian government for Cabot's investment, Zhu added the expansion demonstrates Cabot's "commitment to delivering high quality products and services from local supply sources."
Elsewhere, Cabot is investing around $50 million in debottlenecking projects and operational improvements across 18 of its carbon black facilities. It's a move that will provide an extra 150,000 tons of carbon black capacity for supply to tire, industrial rubber and specialty product market. The company notes that roughly 50,000 tons of this capacity already is on stream, and the remaining should come online by 2021.
Bart Kalkstein, senior vice president and president of reinforcement materials for Cabot, explained that the firm's plants are operating at high utilization levels and the expansions are necessary in order "to offer our customers the security of reliable supply and availability of premium products that they have come to expect from Cabot."
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."