CLEVELAND—Peter Donnelly, the new president of Cancarb Ltd., was appointed to the post at the time the company began a 20 percent expansion of production capacity at its thermal carbon black manufacturing plant in Medicine Hat, Alberta.
"Hopefully my past experience in marketing and sales will be useful in gearing up for that new capacity," Donnelly said at the recent International Elastomer Conference in Cleveland. "I'd like to sell out that capacity."
Donnelly was named Cancarb president Sept. 30, the same month construction began on the expansion, which will increase annual thermal black production at Medicine Hat to 120 million pounds from 100 million. Construction should be complete by the end of 2020, he said.
He succeeded Ken Tate, who served as Cancarb president for the past five years. Tate retired Sept. 30 but will remain in an advisory capacity until Dec. 31.
Donnelly is a 24-year veteran of Cancarb, serving most recently as vice president of marketing and before that as director of quality and development.
"We are confident that his vision and strong mindset will successfully guide Cancarb in the coming years," said Takashi Masaki, general manager of the Carbon Black Division of Tokai Carbon.
Donnelly said Tokai—Cancarb's parent company—is very supportive of Cancarb, especially in the case of research and development and engineering support.
"It's nice to be owned by someone who knows the business," he said. "They understand the global carbon black market very well." Tokai also purchased carbon black firm Sid Richardson Carbon Ltd. in 2018.
Cancarb makes only thermal black and has no plans to change that, according to Donnelly. Thermal black, he said, has its greatest application in rubber automotive parts such as seals, gaskets, hose and weatherstripping, with also some use in innerliners.
Cancarb has only two direct competitors in the thermal black market, according to Donnelly.
"We're a very small player in a very large global market," he said. "The oil furnace black segment is much larger. We try to be competitive in our own little segment."
In that segment, however, Cancarb is the market leader and strives to remain so, according to Donnelly.
"We will be the global leader in thermal carbon black through safety, innovation and environmentally responsible employees," he said. "That was our goal in the past, and it will continue to be."