TOKYO (May 23, 2006) — Bridgestone Corp. will build a 35,000-metric-ton-per-year carbon black plant in Mexico over the coming two years to ensure reliable supplies of high-quality carbon black to its North American plants.
Bridgestone will invest $81 million in the plant, to be built in Altamira, in Mexico's Tamaulipas province. The plant—Bridgestone's third carbon black facility—is slated to start production in June 2008 with about 110 employees.
The new plant will be operated by Mexico Carbon Manufacturing S.A. de C.V., a wholly owned Bridgestone subsidiary since last September.
The investment strengthens the tire maker's presence in captive raw materials. Besides carbon black plants in Japan and Thailand, Bridgestone operates synthetic rubber plants in the U.S. and, starting in 2007 in China; steel cord plants in Japan, the U.S., Italy, Thailand and China; and natural rubber estates in Indonesia and Liberia. It also has two more steel cord plants under construction in China.
In addition, Bridgestone is building a $220 million passenger and light truck tire factory in Monterrey, Mexico, due on stream in July 2007.