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Continental Carbon Idles Unit at Phenix City

Notch hears that Continental Carbon Company is currently running only one unit out of two at Phenix City, Alabama, putting it at half capacity, or about 100 million pounds per year (45 KTPY). The company’s two remaining plants — Ponca City, Oklahoma and Sunray, Texas — are currently operating all units, though at reduced capacity (~80%). Phenix City will shift between the plant’s two tread units until the idle capacity is needed again.

The US carbon black industry is dealing with the downturn by temporarily idling under-utilized units, often using the downtime to do maintenance and repairs. However, given that corrosion is a serious problem for idled units, suppliers indicate that this is only a short term solution to overcapacity. If overcapacity persists for more than another six months, more capacity will probably be removed from the US permanently.

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