Koppers Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Koppers Holdings Inc., has entered into a Memorandum of Understanding with Nippon Steel Chemical, Sojitz JECT, Pizhou City People’s Government and Yizhou Group to develop and construct a fully integrated coal tar based carbon products complex in Pizhou City, Jiangsu Province, China. The facilities are expected to be comprised of three plants including a 250,000 metric ton coal tar distillation plant and two downstream plants producing needle coke and carbon black. It is envisioned that the carbon black and needle coke facilities will be wholly-owned subsidiaries of Nippon Steel Chemical and the coal tar distillation facility will be owned by Koppers and Yizhou Group, with Koppers owning a majority share. Plant construction is expected to commence in 2012 with completion targeted for early 2014.
In a press release, Walter W. Turner, president and CEO of Koppers, said, “We are excited to have the unique opportunity to partner with Nippon Steel Chemical, Sojitz JECT, Pizhou City, and Yizhou Group for this growth project. The joint cooperation among these entities brings together the many strengths of each partner to further expand our presence in the carbon and chemicals markets in China.”
In early December 2011, Koppers Holdings announced it would shut down its carbon black plant in Kurnell, New South Wales, Australia, which was operated by Continental Carbon Australia. The shut down was completed before year-end.