GAJANO, Spain—Birla Carbon Spain is investing about $6.6 million in sustainability and energy efficiency projects at its Gajano plant, all of which are intended to increase annual capacity and support growing markets.
The investment, Birla said in a news release, will increase annual production from 80,000 metric tons to 95,000 tons. It also will improve reliability and sustainability of its manufacturing process through the installation new equipment and the re-engineering of other critical equipment.
Increasing production creates new "opportunities to penetrate high-end carbon black market applications such as inks, plastics, coatings and other specialty applications,"
In a statement, Jacinto Zarca, general manager for Birla Carbon Spain, said that "increasing its production from 80,000 to 95,000 tons (creates) opportunities to penetrate high-end carbon black market applications like inks, plastics, coatings and other specialty applications."
Birla also inaugurated a new administrative office and laboratory complex at the Gajano site. In addition to the office and laboratory space, the expansion includes changing rooms and access to the plant.
"These new facilities, in addition to the cost savings, will allow for greater integration of an already compact staff, which has achieved important milestones over the last few years," Birla said.
The grand opening of the new space was attended by Miguel Revilla, president of Cantabria; John Loudermilk, Birla's chief operating officer; John Davidson, Birla's regional president for the Europe and Africa region; and other local political and business leaders.
Additonally, Birla's team at Ganjo was awarded a project that helped to reduce the purchase of steam by 30 percent. Conducted in collaboration with the University of Cantabria, Birla took advantage of residual dryer heat flow and improved the use of gases.
In another project, Birla is taking advantage of the large volume of energy from reactor gases using a process that generates more value than simple combustion. The project is partly financed by the Society for the Regional Development of Cantabria, a public company of the Government of Cantabria, attached to the Vice Presidency and Counseling of Universities, Research, Environment and Social Policy.