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Orion commissioning new carbon black line in Italy

ERJ reports that Orion Engineered Carbons is commissioning a new 25,000 ton/year reactor for speciality and technical rubber carbon black production at its facility in Ravenna, Italy. The plant will start operations the first week of March and will serve primarily the European market. Additional investments at the 60-year-old plant include a new co-generation facility to convert waste heat into electricity, generating up to 120 MWh of green electricity per year. Roughly 7% of the power generated at the plant will be supplied to the national grid.

The article states that the facility in Italy marks the first new reactor for carbon black production in the European Union in over 40 years. This statement is technically correct, but it should be noted that in 1994 two new carbon black plants started up in Europe: a Cabot factory in Valasske Mezirici, Czech Republic and a Columbian Chemicals factory in Tiszaújváros, Hungary. Neither the Czech Republic nor Hungary were members of the European Union at the time — both countries joined in 2004. Both of these plants have been expanded since they were built: CS Cabot in the Czech Republic was expanded 1996 and 2002, while the Columbian factory in Hungary was expanded in 2008 and 2012. The Hungary plant is now part of Birla Carbon and recently celebrated its 25-year anniversary.

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