BOSTON — Citing continuing demand growth from its tire and rubber product companies worldwide, Cabot Corp. is planning a series of projects that 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 firm's plant in Cilegon, Indonesia, where the new capacity is expected to reach the market by early 2021 to help meet demand growth from Asian customers that is running at a rate of 4- to 5-percent a year.
Bart Kalkstein, senior vice president and president of reinforcement materials for Cabot, said 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."
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 markets.
The company notes that roughly 50,000 tons of this capacity already is on stream, and the remaining should come online by 2021.
The combined expansions will increase Cabot's global carbon black capacity nearly 14 percent to approximately 2.5 million tons per year, the company said.