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Orion converting carbon black line in the US from soft to hard grades

Orion Engineered Carbons announced today that next year the company will invest to convert a reactor line at its plant in Ivanhoe, La., from manufacturing soft (or semi-reinforcing) carbon black to producing hard (or reinforcing) carbon black, commonly used in tire treads.

Orion’s CEO, Corning Painter, said in a press release, “With the continued onshoring of tire production to the U.S., the carbon black supply-demand balance is getting tighter, particularly for hard carbon black. To help support this aspect of the automotive tire supply chain, we are going to invest in converting a reactor at our Ivanhoe plant, increasing the domestic supply of hard black by about 30,000 tons per year by mid-2022. Soft black capacity will be decreased by about the same amount.”

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